The Centre seems to have decided to introduce the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Though agency reports claimed it could be tabled only after Feb 18, it appears certain that the bill will be introduced Thursday.
With merely seven working days left in this extended winter session of Parliament to pass the Telangana as well as pending anti-graft bills, the government is working overtime to get the Opposition on board — senior ministers have had a series of meetings with leaders of opposition parties to thrash out differences.
As part of this exercise, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already invited senior leaders of the BJP, LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, for a luncheon meeting on Wednesday. The Congress core group met at the residence of the Prime Minister on Tuesday — hours after Parliament was once again disrupted over the Telangana issue — and finalised a roadmap for Telangana and other bills. After the meeting, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and political secretary to the Congress president Ahmed Patel met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and informed her of the decision to expel six party MPs from Seemandhra who have given a notice for moving no-trust motion against the government.
It’s learnt that following the consultations, it was decided to allot three-four hours for discussion on the T bill in the Lok Sabha. Sources said the Congress core group had discussed various options before deciding to expel the MPs. As for the Telangana Bill, though opinion was divided on whether it’s a finance bill or money bill, the core group accepted the view of the Law Ministry that it’s a money bill under Article 117(1) of the Constitution. Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram argued that the Telangana Bill was not a money bill. However, going with the Law Ministry’s opinion, the Home Ministry has sent the bill to the President for his approval to introduce it in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.