UPA has to work “towards larger consensus” on bifurcation

Even as the controversy over the introduction of the Telangana Bill simmers, the BJP has come out in the open against the law.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, in a statement, said it was not too late for the government to work “towards a larger consensus” on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh as the Bill did not address several concerns of the people of Seemandhra.

This is the first time that a senior BJP leader has spelt out the party’s view on the Bill. He said issues such as creation of a capital for Seemandhra, eventual creation of a separate High Court in Seemandhra, compensating the region for loss of revenue owing to bifurcation, and sharing of water and power could be resolved.

Mr. Jaitley’s statement came even as Union Ministers from Seemandhra said they would give their all to stall the Bill when the government introduces it in the Lok Sabha.

K.S. Rao (Textiles) said Ministers from Seemandhra would continue to “block” the Bill if the government did not accept their demands.

“We will continue to protest. We will continue to raise the same issues...” he told journalists here.

The Minister said one of the conditions for them to accept bifurcation was making Hyderabad a Union Territory at least for 10 years till the people of Seemandhra built their own capital.

The Bill should have a provision to add Anantapur and Kurnool districts as part of Telangana. A proposal for creation of Rayala Telangana which included these two districts was mooted earlier but not accepted.

Mr. Rao asked the government to give the Bhadrachalam division, which has been made part of Khammam district in Telangana, to Seemandhra.

Citing the example of peaceful creation of the States of Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh during the NDA regime, Mr. Jaitley said the causes of the parliamentary stalemate and the ugly scenes on Thursday were provoked by the UPA.

“Most members disturbing the proceedings belong to the UPA. No effort has been made to reconcile the differences between representatives of Telangana and Seemandhra. The government has not provided a forum for conciliation. The Parliament is unable to discuss the aspirations of the two regions,” he said.

Stating that both Telangana and Seemandhra lived with a sense of injustice, the senior BJP leader said even now it was not too late to provide a forum within or outside Parliament for conciliation.

Separately, YSR Congress Party chief Jaganmohan Reddy on Friday met BJP president Rajnath Singh seeking support against the move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta, told Speaker Meira Kumar, at a meeting she had with floor leaders on Thursday, that procedure was not followed while introducing the Bill.

“There was tumultuous uproar and wild disorder in the House which is unfortunate. No one could hear anything. But once the Speaker declared that the Bill is introduced that is accepted. CPI reiterates that it will support the Bill in both Houses,” he said.

Security in House

A day after the unprecedented incident of suspended Congress MP using pepper spray inside the Lok Sabha, Speaker Meira Kumar on Friday directed the high-power Committee on Security in Parliament Complex to discuss all security related matters, including the sensitive issue of frisking MPs before they enter Parliament House.

The emergency meeting of the Committee on Security, headed by Deputy Speaker Karia Munda, will be held on Monday. Sources in the Lok Sabha Secretariat said the issue of frisking MPs could be taken up at the meeting.

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