The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided that it wants a debate on the Telangana Bill in Parliament.
The BJP leadership, which met at senior leader Lal Krishna Advani’s residence on Sunday night, decided that it will not oppose the Bill provided the amendments suggested by them are brought in.
The BJP has been accused of double speak on the Telangana statehood issue after Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said that she did not know that the Bill had been tabled in Parliament on Thursday.
BJP leaders say that unless and until the concerns of the people of Seema-Andhra are addressed, they would not support the Bill.
The Congress is agreeable to all of BJP’s clauses, including the one seeking for a special package for Seema-Andhra. However, the Congress says that announcing a capital for Seema-Andhra at this very moment is unacceptable, as it requires a lot of debate.
The BJP is ready to let go of this clause for now, sources say.
The BJP was in two minds prior to the meeting that was held in Advani’s residence on Sunday night. This was largely to do with the fact that their would-be ally Telegu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu had said that he would not go ahead with the alliance if the BJP supported the Bill.
The BJP was toying with the idea of allying with YSR Congress Party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, but then the latter appeared to be more inclined towards the Third Front.
The BJP concluded that it would support the Bill with certain clauses since they did not want to be accused of double-speak on the issue.
There was also talk that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had asked the BJP to support the Bill as it would paint the party in very poor light.
However, Ram Madhav, member of the national executive of the RSS, told rediff.com that this is purely a political decision which has to be taken by the BJP. The party is the appropriate forum to take a decision on the issue, he also pointed out.
Meanwhile, the BJP is bracing for a bit of a shake up in Telangana if it goes ahead with the decision to ally with Naidu. Most BJP leaders have decided to quit the party if the TDP is made an ally.
They feel that it is suicidal for the BJP in Telangana if this alliance goes through because Naidu has been termed a villain in Telangana and the people of the region will not forgive the party if they ally with the TDP.