A group of Andhra Pradesh MPs, including six from the Congress, who have given a notice of no-trust motion against the UPA government in protest against the proposed bifurcation of the State, got a shot in the arm with the Samajwadi Party (SP) coming out in their support.

Piqued over the determination of the government to push through the Lokpal Bill, which is vehemently opposed by it, the SP, led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, said it would back the motion as it was opposed to division of big States.

“We are against division of big States and hence opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh. We would support the no-trust move mooted by a group of Seemandhra MPs,” senior SP leader Naresh Aggarwal told The Hindu.

A minimum of one-tenth members of the 545-strong Lok Sabha will have to back a no-confidence motion to be commended and considered by the House.

With the backing of 21 SP and 14 MPs of the Biju Janata Dal, the effective strength of those favouring separate no-trust motions by MPs of the Congress, the Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress goes up to 47. The movers behind the motion claim they would garner sufficient numbers for the motion to stand when it is put to vote for admission in the Lok Sabha.

Rajnath’s charge

An already embarrassed Congress was faced with further trouble on the Telangana Bill, with BJP president Rajnath Singh accusing the ruling combine of rushing through the process of the creation of Telangana State for short-term electoral gains.

The out of the blue statement of the BJP chief has come as a surprise to political observers as the principal Opposition party has all along been insisting that the Bill for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh should be passed in the winter session, which is scheduled to conclude on December 20 unless extended.

In a statement, Mr. Singh said that on the Telangana issue, the Congress and the Central government had messed up the issue and were still doing so. “From day one, they have adopted short-sighted political approach towards this emotive, sensitive and serious issue. The Congress has treated this issue as its internal matter,” he said.

Mr. Singh contended that while the Prime Minister and the Cabinet cleared the Bill, the Chief Minister of the State and Union Ministers from Seemandhra region were not only opposing it but were also instigating people and leading agitations against the creation of Telangana State.

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