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BJP to support food and land Bills

BJP has demanded that the government should bring a bill to create Telangana state in this session of Parliament

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

With a few days left for Parliament’s monsoon session to begin, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government got some good news, with the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having agreed to support the landmark Food Security Bill and Land Acquisition Bill, with some amendments.

At a 90-minute all-party meet to discuss the business, opposition parties also asked the government to bring in this session the Bill to allow formation of a new state of Telangana. They noted it was a long-standing demand of the region and, so far, the decision to form the new state has only come from the Congress party, not the government. “We will fully support the Bill and ensure its passage so that the very old demand of Telangana is fulfilled,” said the BJP’s Sushma Swaraj, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, soon after the meeting.

The session is scheduled to start from Monday and go on till August 30.

In the meeting, convened by parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath, leaders of the Trinamool Congress objected to the government’s reported move to hold talks with leaders of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, saying the government of Bengal was being bypassed.

The government wants to take up 44 Bills for consideration in this session but opposition leaders indicated there wasn’t enough tme for this. The BJP’s Arun Jaitley, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said the government was being over-ambitious, as there were effectively only 12 sittings to take up government business.

BJP leaders have also decided to raise the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, alleging the government was trying to compromise with national security by creating a division between Intelligence Bureau and Central Bureau of Investigation officials. They say they’re also annoyed at the changes in policy on foreign direct investment without consulting other political parties. The party also wants to take up the slide in the rupee’s external value and the state of the economy for discussion.

At the meeting, most parties asked the government to ensure politicians weren’t barred from contesting in elections because of the recent judgements of the Supreme Court on those convicted but having appealed and those in custody. They also pressed for passage of the National Judicial Commission Bill.

The government was also urged to respond to the apex court judgement against reservations in the faculty of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. “How can you expect a smooth session when the Supreme Court has come out with a judgement which has affected 80 per cent of the people, belonging to scheduled castes and tribes and other backward classes?” demanded Sharad Yadav, president of the Janata Dal (United).

First Published: Fri, August 02 2013. 00:06 IST