AP members protest for United Andhra Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Thursday.
AP members protest for United Andhra Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Thursday.

In order to keep her poll promise, Congress president insisted that Telangana Bill be put in supplementary list, instead of being put on day’s agenda in LS

AP members protest for United Andhra Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Thursday.
AP members protest for United Andhra Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Thursday.

New Delhi : Ordinarily, the Telangana-bill was expected to have come to Parliament after the vote-on-account business had been transacted. But a meeting of the Congress core group held on Thursday fast forwarded the procedure. Thus, instead of being listed on the day’s agenda for the Lok Sabha, it got included in the supplementary list.

According to sources, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is firm on implementing her election promise to the people of Telangana, has played the game changing role in this episode. At her insistence, the bill was moved, and all the chaos was there for everyone to see. But insiders point out that this is the climax, whereas the drama has been building over the days.

“Everyone has contributed to this scenario, and it has not happened in a day,” said a senior Congress leader. They point out that Lagdapatti Rajgopal, the member from Vijaywada who used pepper spray in the house is not an ordinary member of Parliament. He is a business baron – the spirit behind the Lanco group with huge interests in  Hyderabad, the area that goes to Telangana. So, his determination and that of the other MPs with him to prevent the Bill from getting through the parliament was well-known. They have been disrupting the house right from day one of the current session, and getting away with it.

Belatedly the Congress did expel six MPs including Rajgopal, but that by itself was not going to prevent them from disrupting the house. The action did not affect their status in the house, and as unattached MPs, they were indeed liberated from the shackles of party discipline.

Adding to the worsening situation was the fact that for days, none of the players-the floor managers, the presiding officers or the leaders of the opposition party showed any determination to act against these disrupting members. Apart from the floor managers, the rest took a stance that as the disrupting members belonged to the Congress party, it was an internal matter that should be settled within.

“Put your house in order,” was the stance. Even after the incident, the blame has fallen on the Congress leadership, and it has emerged that the party has lost control over its members. Interestingly, once the ruckus crossed the limit, everyone demanded action against the MPs, and the rest followed. But the fate of Sonia’s

T-gambit hangs in balance.

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