BJP plays hardball with govt on T-bill

BJP plays hardball with govt on T-bill

A day before the contentious Telangana Bill comes up for discussion in Lok Sabha, the BJP on Monday tried to push the UPA government to bring amendments that will give adequate financial package for the Seemandhra region,  law and order power to the governor, and protect ongoing irrigation projects.

While the BJP is committed to the creation of Telangana, the party made it clear to two government emissaries during an afternoon meeting in Parliament that it would not support the bill if attempts are made to pass it amid din.

Union ministers Sushilkumar Shinde and Jairam Ramesh met BJP leaders L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu in Parliament to iron out last-minute glitches since the opposition party’s support is crucial for passage of the bill.

The party also raised the issue of “selective suspension” of 16 MPs, besides asking the government why its suggestions have not been mentioned in the bill circulated to MPs. Some of the leading parties, including the Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress, oppose the Telangana Bill, which has pushed the UPA to a number-crunching situation.
 
It was a chance encounter UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had with senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu that sparked a discussion between the two parties on Monday. It is learnt that Sonia nudged Naidu, saying his party is not going to support Telangana. Naidu is believed to have told Sonia they are for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh but that their suggestions to Congress leaders earlier have not been considered.

The Union ministers are believed to have told the BJP leaders that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, introduced in Lok Sabha on Thursday and circulated to members amid violent protests, was the first version that was rejected by the AP Assembly.

Subsequently, 32 amendments have been cleared by Union Cabinet to be considered for addition in the bill during discussion in the Houses.

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