With just four days left before the curtains come down on the 15th Lok Sabha, sources in the government say that the Congress is left with no option but to pass the bill otherwise they would be at the losing end in both Seema-Andhra and Telangana. Renu Mittal reports.
Facing a vertical split down its own ranks, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government is all set to push the controversial Telangana bill for passing in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday amidst the noise and din.
The Congress is also encountering a virtual non-cooperation by the Bharatiya Janata Party and severe opposition from Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist and Janata Dal-United.
With just four days left before the curtains come down on the 15th Lok Sabha, sources in the government say that the Congress is left with no option but to pass the bill otherwise they would be at the losing end in both Seema-Andhra and Telangana.
The BJP has become the key factor in the passing of the bill, and while the saffron party is not against the creation of Telangana, they do not want to give government the advantage in the region following the passage of the bill, sources point out.
A senior All India Congress Committee functionary says the party cannot pass the bill which would create the 29th state of Telangana unless they do it amidst the din and noise. He adds that for that to happen both Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari would have to be on board to push the bill through.
The Congress has issued a three-line whip asking its members to be present at the Parliament on Tuesday and meetings are being held to create a perfect pitch for the passing of the bill.
Party vice president Rahul Gandhi met the Seema-Andhra MPs and ministers Monday evening to ask them not to create a disturbance in the House, while Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Union Minister Jairam Ramesh met senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu to seek support.
The BJP has maintained that the Congress should first put its house in order and ensure co-operation from its own members.
Sources say that Advani and Swaraj put a proposal before Shinde and Jairam Ramesh that the revenue which Hyderabad lost should be compensated for 10 years, but this was turned down by Shinde who said that so much money can not be given but the government can compensate for 4 years.
Sources also note that there’s deep division between BJP and RSS as well over the Telangana issue, with former in favour of the bill getting passed.
On the other hand, the BJP wants the house to be in order, a discussion on the issue, and also the revocation of suspension of the 17 MPs.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has told Advani that he is willing to revoke the suspension of the suspended MPs on the condition that the BJP but would take guarantee for the conduct of its MPs and ensure that such behaviour is not repeated in the House, sources inform. Obviously Advani is not in a position to give such a guarantee and Congress is not in a position to go back on the decision to take back the suspension.
Meanwhile, outside the House, YSR Congress Party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy held a march on Monday after which he was arrested. On the other hand Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has been financing a number of trains carrying supporters from the state to Delhi and assembling at Ram Lila ground to protest against the move to carve out a separate state.
Unsure of electoral gains, a senior Congress leader says, party is caught in a “no-win situation” since it is not certain that whether TRS will ally with them.
However, party chief Sonia Gandhi has made it clear to the party leaders that they must create Telangana as it is the only hope of redeeming a bad situation.
Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has made it clear to the party leaders that only creation of Telangana and change its dismal fortunes.