Says BJP would not allow Telangana to come into being before the elections as it would seal its fate in Andhra Pradesh

New Delhi : The government is apprehensive of the Bhartiya Janata Party blocking the Bill for creation of the Telangana state as also half a dozen pending anti-corruption legislations Rahul Gandhi pushing for in what Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath described repeatedly as its ‘double game’ and ‘double standards’.

Nath said that the BJP would not allow Telangana to come into being before the elections. It may defeat the Congress plan to salvage some of its space if Telangana is created as its fate in rest of Andhra Pradesh is already sealed. He asserted that the BJP wants the last sittings of the present Lok Sabha to end in daily chaos as it has objected to any suspension of the members. Clearly a ploy to encourage MPs from Andhra Pradesh for sustained disruptions.

“The BJP says you ensure Parliament functions before seeking our support. But why put such curbs that you can’t act against disturbing elements. There will always be one set of people opposing a decision against the other set who supports. We can take positions through voting. If we all resort to disruptions, no decision can be taken and that is the BJP game plan.”

The parliamentary affairs minister anguished at failing to get any assurance from parties on the key agenda, except for unanimity to pass the vote-on-account in lieu of the budget pending the Lok Sabha elections.  With barely a dozen sittings over three weeks, he presented a massive business of 33 Bills sought to be completed besides discussion on the interim budget and the interim railway budget and asserted that the Telangana Bill is the top priority, besides six anti-corruption bills that are pending in the two Houses.

Nath rued: “This 15th Lok Sabha that is to just complete its term witnessed disturbances and disruptions like never before. The least performing Lok Sabha! A new method of opposition: don’t oppose but disrupt. This is a dangerous trend. One can oppose a bill, vote it out. But they resort to disruptions, inspire disruptions or instigate disruptions. This is no good for our democracy; there will be 16th Lok Sabha, then 17th… what will happen if this trend continues?”  Was he issuing a warning to the next government.

He quipped: “We are not warning, we are only telling the truth. You can’t play the double game; you either support Telangana or oppose Telangana. You can proclaim support and then instigate disruption.”

Finance Minister P Chidamabaram endorsed his contention, pointing out that “Telangana issue will not go away since as long as there is no finality about the creation of the new state, there will be trouble and a spillover to the 16th Lok Sabha as then also there will be MPs from both Telangana and Seemandhra.”

He was quite forthright that the BJP should help pass the Telangana Bill if nothing else instead of basking in the disruptions. The Government can take the ordinance route if anti-corruption bills are not passed but the Telangana bill has to be cleared come what may, he said.

On Lok Sabha Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj protesting why the Opposition cooperate in passing the anti-corruption bills before the election to spruce up the political profile of Rahul Gandhi, Kamal Nath said: “This is not true. These bills are pending for years, latest since 2011 and 2012. They have not come up in the last couple of months. The 15th Lok Sabha has worked little yet passed some historic legislations like Food Security, Land Acquisition and let it have the pride of passing these anti-corruption bills and Telangana, too.”

Kamal Nath insisted on the government”s priority on the controversial communal violence bill, but it did not figure in the list of the government business he shared with the leaders of the political parties.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal