Kiran to Join Hands with TDP, YSRC to Upset Congress Strategy
By JR Prasad | ENS | Published: 07th December 2013 07:56 AM |
The Congress high command is set to play a T20 match with its lawmakers from Seemandhra to push the T Bill through the State Assembly first and Parliament later. With the stage set for the reference of the Bill to the Assembly, a battle of wits has already begun between Delhi and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.
The latter went into a huddle Friday evening with his Seemandhra colleagues and assured them that he would do his best to stall the Bill even at this juncture. The meeting was attended by ministers such as Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Sake Sailajanth, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Erasu Pratap Reddy, TG Venkatesh and N Raghuveera Reddy along with some MLAs from the region. Interestingly, there were many absentees too.
Ministers such as Kanna Lakshminarayana, Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao and P Bala Raju did not turn up, exposing the fissures in the Seemandhra Congress camp. According to sources, Kiran Reddy tried to instil confidence among his colleagues claiming he would use all options on the table including challenging the Bill in the Supreme Court to keep the State as it is.
He reportedly decided to take the support of TDP and YSRC MLAs from Seemandhra to defeat the Bill in the Assembly if voting takes place in the House. Anam, Raghuveera, Ganta and Sailajanath have been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring floor coordination with these parties.
“If there is no voting, we will at least try to register the protest of as many MLAs as possible from Seemandhra cutting across political lines on the floor of the House to convey to the President that a majority of legislators are opposing bifurcation of the State,” a senior minister said.
At the same time, MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, warned the Congress high command that Seemandhra MPs were contemplating to destabilise the UPA Government by writing to the President that they were no longer backing it. However, nothing much came of his threat and neither is it expected. Rajagopal and his colleagues, if indeed they are all on the same page, seem to be hoping that the BJP might not support the bill
if it senses the the government has lost its majority in Lok Sabha.
Some of the Union Ministers from Seemandhra have reportedly begun talks with the saffron party to achieve their aim. However, though some of them had indicated that they would quit their posts, no minister till Friday night openly announced his or her decision. The only lame move came from K Chiranjeevi who shot off a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi “urging” her to accept his resignation which was tendered months ago to the Prime Minister.
Against this backdrop, AICC state affairs incharge Digvijaya Singh swung into action and said they had their own strategy to ensure that there would be a smooth discussion in the Assembly over the T Bill
He made light of the threats issued by his party MPs from Seemandhra, saying, “I welcome their comments.” In fact, as the Assembly will be in session from December 12, Delhi bosses have already directed the State leaders to ensure that the bill gets back to the President as early as possible.
A defiant Kiran Reddy, who expressed discontent with his close associates on the Union Cabinet nod to T Bill, is expected to hurl fireworks at his party leadership on Saturday while addressing a public meeting in Vijayawada after inaugurating the Pulichintala Project.