Government gears to push T-Bill, BJP unyielding

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11kamalAs a determined UPA government gears up to push through the Telangana Bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, two Union Ministers met top BJP leaders on Monday to get it on board.

Among the BJP leaders whom Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh met were L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and M. Venkaiah Naidu.

At the 40-minute meeting, the Ministers conveyed to the BJP leaders that the government was ready to consider any feasible amendments to address the concerns of the Seemandhra region. But the main opposition party stuck to its stand that the government should address the concerns of Seemandhra and run the House in an orderly fashion.

“We are for Telangana, but the concerns of the Seemandhra region must also be addressed and the Congress should first put its own house in order,” Mr. Naidu said.

He said Congress president Sonia Gandhi, whom he met in the Central Hall of Parliament, also sought his support. He said he conveyed to Ms. Gandhi that Congress members should first be controlled.

Reaching out to the BJP were also five Seemandhra Ministers and YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy, who organised a protest at Jantar Mantar calling for a united Andhra Pradesh and courted arrest along with 17 others as they tried to march to Parliament.

While the Ministers called on Mr. Advani to seek the BJP’s support, the YSR Congress leader said his party would back the BJP if it helped stall the Bill.

The government proposes to move 32 amendments to the Bill that seek to amplify some legal and administrative aspects related to bifurcation.

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