Monday, Nov 24, 2014

To break Telangana logjam, Manmohan initiates dinner diplomacy, invites BJP leaders

PM during his meeting with BJP leaders is likely to assure them that their concerns regarding justice to Seemandhra region will be addressed. (PTI Photo) PM during his meeting with BJP leaders is likely to assure them that their concerns regarding justice to Seemandhra region will be addressed. (PTI Photo)
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: February 10, 2014 1:02 pm | Updated: February 10, 2014 1:09 pm

Amid continued disruption of Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited top BJP leaders for dinner on February 12 to seek their support for the passage of the crucial Telangana Bill and other anti-corruption legislations in Parliament.

The Prime Minister personally called up senior BJP leader L K Advani and Leaders of the Opposition in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley on Sunday night to invite them for dinner at his residence, according to sources.

They said the dinner meeting was earlier scheduled for today but was postponed on account of non-availability of Advani, who was away in his Gandhinagar constitutency.

The government has reportedly agreed to BJP’s demands on amendments to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, and the Prime Minister during his meeting with the BJP leaders is likely to assure them that their concerns regarding justice to Seemandhra region will be addressed.

While BJP has made its stand clear by backing formation of Telangana, it has put conditions to support the bill, saying concerns of people from the Seemandhra region be addressed specifically in the legislation and the quantum of financial package to be given to it be spelled out.

The Telangana bill is likely to be tabled in Rajya Sabha in a day or two after the President accords his approval.

The Union Cabinet had cleared the bill on Friday and the government has sent it to the President for his approval before introducing the measure in Parliament.

Proceedings in both Houses of Parliament have continued to be disrupted over the Telangana issue ever since the session commenced on February 5.

The government wants to urgently clear the bill after having announced the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh as this is the last session before elections are declared.

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