De-Rail budget: After Telangana disrupts, PM says ‘heart bleeds’

PM and BJP leaders meet, Telangana Bill unlikely to be tabled today.

New Delhi | Published:February 13, 2014 3:17 am
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

The government has deferred the plan to introduce the Telangana statehood Bill in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, sources said on Wednesday. They indicated that the Bill was in fact unlikely to be tabled this week — which means there will be very little time for the legislation to go through, given the constitutional requirement to pass the vote on account. Parliament is in session until February 21.

This indication came after top BJP leaders L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday afternoon. Senior ministers A K Antony, Sushil Kumar Shinde, P Chidambaram and Kamal Nath were also present.

“Parliament session has not been fruitful so far. We should pass some legislation. I seek your cooperation,” the PM was learnt to have appealed to the BJP leaders. They, however, told him that the BJP was not disrupting the House, and it was for the ruling party to get its act together in order to transact some business.

The BJP leaders were learnt to have underlined their longstanding commitment towards statehood for Telangana, but asked the PM to ensure justice for Seemandhra as well. They suggested that the government should sweeten the bifurcation with a handsome compensation package for the Seemandhra region.

Lok Sabha was on Wednesday witness to the unprecedented spectacle of four union ministers protesting in the well against the proposed bifurcation, driving the Prime Minister to say that his heart bled to see Parliament being disrupted.

HRD Minister Pallam Raju, who is opposed to the creation of Telangana but who did not join his colleagues in the well, responded defiantly, saying that the PM was being “unfair”.

“My heart bleeds to see what is happening in the House,” Manmohan Singh said of the protests that resulted in Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge failing to complete his rail budget speech. “It is sad for democracy that such things are happening even after all appeals for calm.”

The action of Ministers K S Rao, D Purandeswari, K Suryaprakash Reddy and Chiranjeevi — all from Seemandhra — led to Kharge simply laying his speech on the table. Reacting to the PM’s criticism, Raju said, “I do not think the comment is fair just to isolate what is happening today. It has been happening in the House. Certainly, I think there has been a failing somewhere.”

Raju said the ministers were expected to put up a “final battle” against the “absolute injustice” of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath too condemned the incidents in Lok Sabha. “It is very unfortunate… the obstruction and creating disturbances and all kinds of unruly scenes… This is a very bad precedent,” he said.

A senior BJP leader who was aware of the deliberations between the BJP brass and the PM and his ministers, said, “Government thinks that it has done justice (to Seemandhra), but the fact that people are not happy indicates that justice has not been done. We will raise their genuine grievance for justice. We will maintain our pro-Telangana stance, but also voice the concerns of Seemandhra.

“There should be specific announcements like creation of four cities in Seemandhra, announcement of capital in one region and high court in the other region, and financial incentives to compensate for losses to Seemandhra,” the leader said.

The BJP’s new-found interest in ensuring “justice” for Seemandhra would appear to dilute its hitherto unequivocal support for Telangana. Party sources said this was dictated in part by the feeling in a section of the larger Parivar that Muslims may be more influential in the new state.

Making things more difficult for the government, the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday said it would back the anti-Telangana protesters in case they were suspended from the House. “SP is against creation of smaller states, and consequently we are also opposed to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. If need be, SP members will not hesitate to enter the well to protest,” SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav told The Indian Express on Wednesday. Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, a UPA partner, has already said that Andhra Pradesh should not be divided.

Sources said that at his meeting with BJP leaders, the PM also asked for cooperation in passing anti-corruption legislation. The BJP leaders were learnt to have replied that the PM should first get the House in order so that the laws can be discussed.

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  1. D
    Dr Anisetti
    Feb 12, 2014 at 11:23 pm
    Congress has been doing many unparliamentary things against the wish of majority people in the country in the parliament. PM says his heart is bleeding. I doubt whether he has any heart or heart for the people of the country.
    Reply
    1. D
      Dr Anisetti
      Feb 12, 2014 at 11:23 pm
      Congress has been doing many unparliamentary things against the wish of majority people in the country in the parliament. PM says his heart is bleeding. I doubt whether he has any heart or heart for the people of the country.
      Reply
      1. H
        Harish
        Feb 13, 2014 at 8:23 am
        I think Congress party leaders should Telangana issue rather then disturbing the Parliament session.Which is not good for the telangana bill because telangana people want to p the T-bill.
        Reply
        1. H
          Harish
          Feb 13, 2014 at 8:23 am
          I think Congress party leaders should Telangana issue rather then disturbing the Parliament session.Which is not good for the telangana bill because telangana people want to p the T-bill.
          Reply
          1. M
            Manish
            Feb 13, 2014 at 8:25 am
            Congress party said that if Seemandhra leaders do not follow party line then party should take stern disciplinary action against them because they doesn't care of the party plans and decision.
            Reply
            1. M
              Manish
              Feb 13, 2014 at 8:25 am
              Congress party said that if Seemandhra leaders do not follow party line then party should take stern disciplinary action against them because they doesn't care of the party plans and decision.
              Reply
              1. r
                rajesh_chary
                Feb 13, 2014 at 3:17 am
                MMS' own party has created the Telangana mess for political gains. Why is he shedding crocodile tears now?
                Reply
                1. S
                  sagun
                  Feb 13, 2014 at 8:22 am
                  I think No leniency should be shown for these ministers.They have ashamed not only UPA govt. and Congress Party but also our parliament. This is not correct for the for us.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    sagun
                    Feb 13, 2014 at 8:22 am
                    I think No leniency should be shown for these ministers.They have ashamed not only UPA govt. and Congress Party but also our parliament. This is not correct for the for us.
                    Reply
                    1. T
                      Tushar
                      Feb 13, 2014 at 8:21 am
                      I think this is the last tenure of the Our PM Manmohan singh . Still he is trying to do their best for the people. But people can't understand our PM always stand for us in last ten years.
                      Reply
                      1. T
                        Tushar
                        Feb 13, 2014 at 8:21 am
                        I think this is the last tenure of the Our PM Manmohan singh . Still he is trying to do their best for the people. But people can't understand our PM always stand for us in last ten years.
                        Reply
                        1. U
                          Umesh
                          Feb 13, 2014 at 8:30 am
                          I think Congress is never think to roll-back its Telanagana decision . UPA govt. and Congress party always stand for the T-bill from the beginning. So All five ministers from Seemandhra should region.
                          Reply
                          1. U
                            Umesh
                            Feb 13, 2014 at 8:30 am
                            I think Congress is never think to roll-back its Telanagana decision . UPA govt. and Congress party always stand for the T-bill from the beginning. So All five ministers from Seemandhra should region.
                            Reply
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