AICC president Sonia Gandhi met BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu in the Central Hall of Parliament on Monday afternoon and sought his party’s support for the passage of the A.P. Reorganisation Bill, 2013.
Sources in the BJP said that Mr. Naidu assured Ms. Gandhi of his party’s support for the Bill if the amendments it suggested were incorporated. In reply, the Congress president said she would speak to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.
Earlier, Mr. Ramesh and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde met senior BJP leader L.K. Advani. He is believed to have told the duo that the party was, in principle, in favour of Telangana State, but would like the Centre to address the concerns of the people of Seemandhra as well.
BJP national executive member N. Ramchander Rao told The Hindu here that the party had shortlisted the amendments it wanted in the Bill. For Seemandhra, the party has sought allocation of Rs. 10,000 crore from the Consolidated Fund to bridge the revenue deficit, payment of adequate compensation for the loss of income suffered by the region following the bifurcation and immediate identification of and financial package for the new capital.
As for amendments concerning Telangana, the BJP wants a separate high court, no special powers for the Governor on maintaining law and order in Hyderabad, and national project status for Pranahita-Chevella irrigation scheme. Among its demands common for both the regions, the party wants excise and tax concessions for setting up industries in Rayalaseema, North Coastal Andhra and the backward areas in Telangana.