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Budget session: We are sensitive to demands of Andhra MPs, says Centre

By PTI
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    Vociferous protests by members of National Democratic Alliance ally Telugu Desam Party on Tuesday forced brief adjournment of Lok Sabha proceedings even as the government termed their demands as "very sensitive" and gave an assurance that they would be looked into.

    A view of the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo credit: PTI

    The YSR Congress also joined the protests in the Well of the House and raised slogans despite repeated requests by speaker Sumitra Mahajan urging them to go back to their seats.

    The ties between the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are strained, with the former publicly expressing unhappiness over the Union Budget not offering any special benefits to Andhra Pradesh.

    The MPs from Andhra Pradesh were demanding adequate allocation of funds and projects for the state.

    "Their (MPs) demands are very sensitive. The Prime Minister and the government of India are sensitive about development of Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, the matter they are raising will be looked into," parliamentary affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.

    The minister was requesting the agitating MPs to allow discussion on the motion of thanks on the President's address.

    Earlier, as agitated MPs from Andhra Pradesh continued their protests during Question Hour, the proceedings were adjourned for ten minutes till 11:20am.

    "Please go to your seats. This is not the way," Mahajan was heard saying before adjourning the House for ten minutes.

    There were around 10 members from TDP and YSR Congress in the Well.

    In a novel protest, one of the members had tied a tuft of his hair with a red ribbon. Wearing a garland, he was also seen using 'kartal', a musical instrument generally used while singing bhajans.

    Soon after proceedings began at 11:20am, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar was seen talking to some of the protesting members.

    Many members in the Well were holding placards with slogans such as 'Save AP Save Democracy', 'Follow Alliance Dharma Now' and 'We demand Special Status for AP state'.

    Earlier this week, the TDP vowed to continue to press the Centre for various allocations to Andhra Pradesh.

    After Question Hour also, Mahajan asked the protesting members to go back to their seats but in vain and also termed their behaviour as "unruly".

    PTI

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