A Congress MP reveals to Sheela Bhatt the Congress plan to protect the Speaker and home minister and provide muscle to push through the tabling of the Telangana bill in Parliament.
Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy, the Congress Member of Parliament from the Bhongir Lok Sabha constituency near Hyderabad, is a staunch supporter of the creation of Telangana.
The MP told Rediff.com in an exclusive interview that on Thursday morning he and other Telangana MPs from the Congress met Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath in his parliamentary office. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was also present at the meeting, at around 10.15 am.
Reddy, a young and well-built man, says the party discussed how to protect Shinde and Speaker Meira Kumar from aggressive MPs of the Congress and Telugu Desam Party from the Seema-Andhra region, who are against the creation of Telangana.
All of them, he claims, were aware of the plans of the anti-Telangana MPs to disrupt Parliament so they wanted to ensure security for Shinde and Kumar.
The idea of using elected representatives for security was devised because the Speaker refused to deploy Lok Sabha marshals inside the House to provide security.
At the meeting, it was decided they would adopt the same strategy that was adopted on Wednesday when Railway Minister M Mallikarjuna Kharge was not allowed to read out the Rail Budget, but could still present the budget officially.
Today, the MPs under Kamal Nath's leadership decided that the Telangana bill would be presented amid the chaos.
The plan was conceived and executed by Kamal Nath, says Reddy.
Shinde was required to be physically protected and not the other ministers because he was to table the bill. He was to be given a couple of minutes to read out the bill before tabling it.
The Speaker's presence was essential to ensure that it could be announced that the bill had been officially tabled.
Kamal Nath, an eight-time MP, knows the tricks of the trade. He chalked out the plan to assign young able-bodied MPs to provide security and muscle to table the Telangana bill. Reddy admits that he has done such things in his college days.
Mohammad Azharuddin, Raj Babbar, Arun Yadav, Manik Tagore, Vijayashanti, Ashok Tanwar and Reddy created a ring around Shinde and Meira Kumar's table on Kamal Nath's instructions.
They were supposed to use muscle power to ensure that the Telangana bill could be tabled in the quickest possible time and the Congress could claim victory.
Read the interview with Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy later today.