Will support Telangana Bill only for our political gains – BJP నవంబర్ 17, 2013Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhrapreneurship, BJP, Congress, drama, Identity, Telangana, TRS.
Tags: 1998 one vote two states, 29th state
BJP may not support Telangana bill
B V Shiva Shankar, TNN, 16 November 2013, Times of India
Hyderabad: The Congress’s ‘we-mean-business’ attitude on the Telangana front is all set to be punctured by the BJP, whose leaders predicted on Friday the Telangana bill will not come up in Parliament during the winter session.
Even if the bill is tabled, there is no guarantee the BJP will support it since the Congress’s intention is to only reap political gains, leaders of the opposition party claimed.
Congress leaders, including home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, have said the Telangana bill will be tabled during the winter session of Parliament starting on December 5.
“As per my information, the Congress-led UPA government won’t table the Telangana bill,” BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told TOI over the phone from Delhi. “Even if the bill is tabled, it’d be for political reasons and not for the benefit of the people of Telangana. So, why should we say we’d support the bill at this stage? Let them come clear on the issues the Seemandhra people are raising and come out with the draft bill. We’ll react after that.”
The BJP’s approach could make it difficult for the Congress to get the bill passed. While it may be able to scrape through in the Lok Sabha, the Congress will require the support of the principal opposition party to get it passed in the Rajya Sabha. The Congress has 71 members and the BJP 44 in the upper house of Parliament. “Therefore, things aren’t as hunky-dory on the Telangana front as the Congress is making them out to be,” said a leader.
The BJP’s sudden reluctance is also being attributed to the approach of its prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
“After being informed by the party’s local unit that the BJP’s pro-Telangana approach may fetch it only one Lok Sabha seat (Mahbubnagar) in the region, while a tie-up with the TDP could give it more dividends in the Seemandra region, Modi is preferring to swing in support of Seemandhra and has told local leaders he won’t visit Andhra Pradesh until the party makes its pro-Seemandhra stance clear,” said a BJP source.
So, the BJP has now started championing Seemandhra interests.
“The BJP’s stand hasn’t changed,” said Nirmala Sitharaman, another spokesperson of the BJP. “We’ve made it clear we’re for smaller states and we want to see a separate Telangana state. However, at the same time, the interests of the Seemandhra region too should be protected. The Congress cannot take people for granted and go ahead with its own agenda. At this stage, our reaction is no reaction as we don’t know what the Congress is going to propose on the Telangana front.”
While taking pains to drive home the point that his party is committed to the cause of Telangana, Javadekar said it is the Centre’s responsibility to address the concerns of the people of Seemandhra arising out of the division of Andhra Pradesh, and the BJP will never spell out its stand unless the Congress comes clear on pertinent issues such as the status of Hyderabad, the safety and security of Seemandhra people living in Hyderabad and the rest of Telangana, and the sharing of river waters and revenue.
Endorsing the view, state unit president G Kishan Reddy said there is no question of the BJP revealing its cards before the Congress comes out with the draft bill. “The GoM meeting with the political parties was an eyewash meant to fool the people of both Telangana and Seemandhra,” Reddy said. “They asked us to respond to their terms of reference without even spelling out their stand on the mentioned issues. And they’re seeking the same in the case of the Telangana bill. But our stand is clear. We’ll react only when we know the details of the bill.”