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Telangana bill: Govt seeks BJP's support

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde wants the Oppn to spell out its concerns on the issue

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The government today reached out to BJP to seek its support in passage of the contentious Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde wanting the opposition party to spell out its concerns on the issue.

Sources said during the meeting in Parliament House where Shinde was accompanied by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, BJP asked the government to put its own house in order and address the concerns of the Seemandhra region while cautioning it not to pass the bill amid din and without a discussion.

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Among the BJP leaders whom Shinde and Ramesh met were L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley besides M Venkaiah Naidu. The meeting lasted around 40 minutes.

The ministers told the BJP leaders that some issues have already been dealt with in the bill and that they will get back on the amendments the government proposed to bring.

"We are for Telangana but the concerns of the Seemandhra region must also be addressed simultaneously and Congress should first put its own house in order," Naidu said regarding what he conveyed to the ministers during the meeting.

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Major developmental works, he said, had taken place in Hyderabad and investments were concentrated there. He said he asked the Congress ministers to provide adequate financial support to the residual state of Andhra Pradesh for it to sustain in the situation post Telangana formation.

"We told Congress to create a proper atmosphere for passage of the bill. We also asked Congress not to pass the bill amid the din as proper discussion is required before the bifurcation of a state and creation of a new state," Naidu said.

"We conveyed our strong protest to Shinde on the manner in which the bill was brought and also about selective suspension of members," he said, while charging the Congress party with "mishandling" the issue and "endangering national unity" by creating such a situation.

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He said Congress President Sonia Gandhi, whom he met in Central Hall of Parliament, also sought his support on the bill. He said he conveyed to Gandhi that Congress members be controlled.

First Published: Mon, February 17 2014. 18:15 IST