BJP offers support to PM on Telangana bill

BJP offers support to PM on Telangana bill

BJP today offered its support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the crucial Telangana bill but made it clear that the government should also address the concerns of the people of both the proposed state as well as Seemandhra.

The Prime Minister, who is seeking to bring about a consensus on the issue which has seen repeatedly disrupted Parliament, held discussion with top BJP leaders over lunch at his residence.

During the meeting that lasted about an hour-and-a-half, BJP leaders told Singh that the party was committed to the creation of Telangana and was ready to support the bill as its stand on the issue was clear but sought spelling out of a package for the Seemandhra region as well, sources said.

The Prime Minister had invited BJP leaders L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley to lunch seeking to end the current impasse in Parliament and discuss crucial pending bills. Union Ministers A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Kamal Nath and Sushilkumar Shinde were also present during the meeting.

The sources said the BJP leaders conveyed to Singh that their stand on Telangana has not changed and asked the government to "put its own house in order" as Congress MPs were in the forefront in disrupting Parliament.

While there was no official word from either the government or BJP about what transpired at the meeting, some key legislations, including the Communal Violence bill and anti-corruption bills that are pending in Parliament, were also discussed, but BJP was non-committal on its support to them.

The sources said while the government assured a package for Seemandhra region, BJP sought its spelling out in the bill.

"BJP's commitment to creation of Telangana is full and final and we want justice should be done to Seemandhra region also," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

The sources said the government is still not clear when to bring the Telangana bill in Parliament, which has to be tabled in Lok Sabha instead of Rajya Sabha as it is a money bill.

Congress had yesterday cracked the whip expelling six of its MPs, opposing the formation of Telangana, from the party for agitating. They had given a notice of no-confidence motion against their own government.

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