BJP Walks Tightrope, Keeps State on Edge

Party to demand that suspension of Seemandhra MPs be revoked; TDP chief meets Modi, Mulayam; Kavuri warns of ruckus in Lok Sabha

Published: 17th February 2014 07:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2014 08:12 AM   |  A+A-

If the Congress is keeping the State on the tenterhooks, its rival, the BJP, has also begun sending confusing signals on its stand vis-a-vis the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013.

With the extended winter session of Parliament entering its last lap Monday, the BJP Parliamentary Board, which met at senior leader LK Advani’s residence in Delhi on Sunday evening, is learnt to have decided to press for revoking the suspension of Seemandhra MPs from the Lok Sabha before the debate on the bill begins.

According to sources, differences cropped up among the BJP top brass during the meeting on whether to back the T bill in Parliament in its present form. Party president Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, reportedly wanted to back the bill after moving amendments to it to protect the interests of Seemandhra. However, party patriarch Advani didn’t buy their argument.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj is understood to have been ambivalent. Interestingly, this development came soon after suspended MPs from Seemandhra, including Lagadapati Rajagopal, had called on Advani and requested him not to support the bill in Parliament.

Earlier in the day, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu met BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Chandigarh and had a brief chat with him. Later, speaking to reporters in Delhi, Naidu said there was no harm if the Telangana issue was postponed for a few more days. He demanded an all-party meeting to resolve the issue amicably. Naidu also met SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav at the Delhi airport and discussed the issue with him at a time when the Congress floor managers are holding back-channel talks with the SP to enlist its support for passing the bill in Parliament. Mulayam said he would decide on supporting the bill after a thorough debate in his own party.

Modi-Chennai2PTI.JPG"It's the Congress which sows seeds of poison. Andhra Pradesh is the perfect example to prove that you do 'zeher ki kheti'. Madam says the next elections are for unity and that we sow seeds of poison. Who is doing this? Who started this? Who created rifts between brothers...states?"

- Narendra Modi, PM candidate of BJP


Interestingly back in Hyderabad, TDP Rajya Sabha member from Seemandhra Sujana Chowdary accused both the Congress and the BJP of dividing the state for coming to power at the Centre. “The Congress and the BJP alone have the numbers in Parliament and taking advantage of their position, these two parties are playing politics and have made AP a trial ground for division of states,” he alleged.

Even Sabbam Hari, expelled Congress MP, joined chorus with Sujana Chowdary, strengthening reports that the Congress has intensified back-channel discussions with the BJP to pass the bill in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Union Ministers from Seemandhra met at the residence of Kavuri Sambasiva Rao late Sunday evening in Delhi. Emerging from the meeting, Rao demanded that suspension of his fellow MPs from Seemandhra must be revoked. “Their presence is needed at the time of discussion on the T bill,” he said. “If our demand is not accepted, we will storm into the well of the Lok Sabha on Monday morning,” he warned. Finance Minister Chidambaram will present his interim budget at 11 a.m. in the Lok Sabha.

Jairam Ramesh1PTI.png"My personal belief is that such an important piece of legislation must be debated and discussed and not pushed through in a din. We should try to create a larger consensus beyond BJP as well. We have four days left. I hope we can get it done."

- Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister


Also Read:

'Kiran Kumar Reddy will Resign if Telangana Bill Taken up for Debate'

Telangana: Both Camps Strive to Push Ahead With Their Agendas 

Rivals Ridicule Kiran’s Resignation Threat  



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