New Delhi: After their suspension from Lok Sabha for obstructing proceedings, eight Congress MPs on Thursday protested by blocking Parliament's main gate for 30 minutes and raised pro-Telangana slogans.
The suspended Congress members - Ponnam Prabhakar, Madhu Yaskhi Goud, M Jagannath, KRG Reddy, G Viveknanda, Balram Naik, Sukender Reddy Gutha and S Rajaiah - sat on the steps of the main gate of Parliament and raised slogans in support of their demand for early formation of Telangana state.
They also carried placards which read "Honour Your commitment, Give separate Telanagana state" and "Fulfil your commitment, Honour Telanagana sentiment". "We want Telanagana...Jai Telanagana...Telangana ko banayiye, loktantra ko bachayiye and amal karo, UPA ka wada amal karo...," rent the air as the suspended MPs raised the pitch of their voice.
The blocking of entry to Parliament forced MPs to use other gates for the half-an-hour just before sitting of the Houses.
Later, on behalf of the pro-Telanagana Congress MPs, M Jagannath said, "I appeal to students not to commit suicide because Telanagana will be created soon. They should realise their dreams."
Criticising the BJP for being double-faced by not supporting them at the time of their suspension even though some other parties did, Jagannath said, "When we were suspended, BJP did not raise their voice of opposition, even though they claim to support the Telanagana cause. They showed their real face."
In an extraordinary step, the Lok Sabha had on Tuesday suspended eight Congress members from Telangana region for four days for repeatedly causing disruptions over separate statehood issue, after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal moved a motion seeking their suspension. The motion was carried by a voice vote.
This is perhaps the first time in several years that members of the ruling party have been suspended from either House of Parliament. The action came soon after a meeting of the Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, deliberated on the matter.
Congress in Andhra Pradesh has been divided on regional lines with members from Telangana region in the forefront of the demand for a separate state.