Congress seeks PM Modi’s assurance on special status to Andhra Pradesh; Speaker rejects

, 4:18 PM IST

Against the backdrop of daily protests by YSR Congress members in Lok Sabha over special status for Andhra Pradesh, Congress on Monday sought an assurance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue, which was rejected by the Speaker.

On the sixth consecutive day, members of YSR Congress trooped into the Well raising slogans demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh following the carving out of Telangana state. Holding placards, they defied the Speaker who continuously urged them to return to their seats and not display the banners. As the House was taking up Question Hour, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the YSR Congress members are routinely raising the issue, thus disrupting the proceedings.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan agreed and said she too has been urging them to return to their seats as they are blocking the view of other members.

When Kharge said the Prime Minister should come to the House and assure the agitating members as his predecessor Manmohan Singh had assured special category status for Andhra Pradesh. But the Speaker rejected the demand saying “every now and then” calling the Prime Minister was “not necessary” as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already made a statement on the issue. Since last Monday, YSR Congress members have been entering the Well daily with placards and raising slogans demanding special status for their state.

In the first two days, members of TDP, an ally of the ruling NDA too, were participating in the protest by holding placards and raising slogans from the aisles. But thereafter, they stopped participating in the protest.