M A I N   N E W S

PM promises Telangana, but Bill not part of LS agenda yet
Speaker holds all-party meet
Winter session starts tomorrow
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3
With the winter session just two days away, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today reiterated his government’s commitment to the formation of Telangana. He, however, didn’t specify whether the government would table the Bill in the current session beginning December 5.

“We are committed to the formation of Telangana and it will be our effort to make full use of due process of law to ensure that the new state does come about,” said Manmohan Singh.

The PM’s remarks came after Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar held an all-party meeting with leaders to know what they wanted to discuss. The Tribune has learnt that the Telangana issue is not yet part of the agenda circulated to Union Ministers for the December 5 Cabinet meeting. A senior minister told The Tribune: “Telangana is not on the Cabinet agenda yet."

The government is working hard to cement the differences among the Cabinet Ministers from Andhra who are at loggerheads over the status of Hyderabad and whether the four districts of Rayalaseema should be merged with the proposed Telangana state or not. Tribal Affairs Minister KC Deo is opposed to the common capital status for Hyderabad unlike HRD Minister Pallam Raju who is okay with the joint capital idea.

At the meeting, parties said they would support the formation of Telangana while the government said the modalities were being expedited to enable a Cabinet approval for the Telangana Bill followed by a Presidential assent.

The government has listed four Constitutional Amendment Bills for passage this session. These include the Bill to reserve 33% seats for women in Parliament and state Legislatures which the Rajya Sabha had passed way back on March 9, 2008.

Also on the list is the Constitution 117th Amendment Bill 2012 to give SCs and STs quota in promotions and the Constitution 120th Amendment Bill 2013 to scrap the collegium system of judges’ appointment. UPA ally SP has, however, clarified that it would disrupt the LS if the women’s Bill and the SC/ST quota Bill are tabled.

Importantly, all parties led by the BJP pressed for extension of the session. The Left wants a discussion on inflation and will seek adjournment of the Question Hour on Day one. The BJP wants to debate sexual harassment of women at workplace in the light of the Tarun Tejpal case and internal security following blasts at BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi’s Patna rally.

NC’s SD Shariq --- in a clear jibe at Modi --- said with polls round the corner, it has become fashionable to demand abrogation of Article 370 (for special status to J&K). The NC will oppose any move by the BJP to debate the Article.

The government has listed 23 Bills for passage in the LS and five Bills for introduction, including the 119th Constitutional Amendment Bill to implement Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement 1974 and the HIV/AIDS Bill.

Will govt table the Bill this session?

  • While the PM on Tuesday said his government was committed to the formation of Telangana, he didn’t specify whether the Bill would be tabled in the winter session beginning December 5
  • The Telangana issue is not yet part of the agenda circulated to Union Ministers for the December 5 Cabinet meeting, said sources
  • The government is grappling with the rift among the Cabinet Ministers from Andhra who are divided on the status of Hyderabad





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