Though the UPA government on Tuesday accepted the 45-year-old demand for creation of Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh, the passage of a bill in Parliament according statehood to the region might not be smooth.
The Congress has managed to get its allies on board, as well as main
opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 117 MPs in Lok Sabha, but a bunch of political parties remain opposed to the creation of India's 29th state.
On Sunday, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav had told mediapersons that his party would oppose the Telangana bill if it was introduced in Parliament.
The Congress-led UPA government is expected to bring the bill in Parliament in the monsoon session starting August 5.
“We are against small states as they would weaken the country,” Yadav said.
He said states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand, which were carved out of bigger states, were lagging behind in development.
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“What’s the guarantee that Telangana will not suffer the same fate as these states? Into how many pieces does the UPA want to break the country?” said Yadav, whose party is extending outside support to the UPA.
Members of Telangana Rashtra Samathi (TRS) and Telangana supporters celebrate after UPA endorsed the creation of Telangana new state.(AP Photo)
The SP has 22 MPs in Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh (UP), where the party is in power. Yadav’s political rivals Mayawati of Bahujan Samaj Party and Ajit Singh of Rashtriya Lok Dal have also been demanding division of UP into smaller states.
The Trinamool Congress, which has 19 MPs in Lok Sabha, could also oppose the bill. The party is already opposed to the demand of Gorkhaland state by the people of Darjeeling.
On Tuesday, after the Congress Working Committee endorsed statehood for Telangana, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha announced an indefinite strike in northern West Bengal’s Darjeeling Hills from Saturday to press for its Gorkhaland demand.
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“Our stand on Telangana will be evident in Parliament,” Derek O’Brien, MP and spokesperson of Trinamool Congress, told Hindustan Times over the phone.
The declared stance of the Communist Party of Inida (Marxist), which has 16 MPs in Lok Sabha, is also against smaller states.
“We have not taken a call on it (as there is no proposal yet). But our stand against Telangana remains the same,” Basudeb Acharia, party leader in Lok Sabha, told HT.
Asaduddin Owaisi of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM), who represents Parliament seat of Hyderabad, also opposes statehood for Telangana.
GRAPHIC: Other states demanding separate statehood
Some observers even say a Telangana bill could go the pending Women’s Reservation Bill way.
The bill to reserve 33% seats for women in Lok Sabha and the state assemblies was passed by Rajya Sabha in 2010, but has since been pending in Lok Sabha due to opposition from a handful of parties.
The stance of parties like BJD, RJD, JD(U), DMK and AIADMK on Telangana is not clear yet.
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