Two senior Congress leaders – Ahmed Patel and Digvijaya Singh – reached out to the BJP on Friday, seeking support for the Telangana bill. They met former BJP chief M Venkaiah Naidu, who is pressing for “suitable and adequate compensation” for the Seemandhra region.
The Congress leaders conveyed to Naidu about government’s plans for greenfield airports, business schools, infrastructure projects and other incentives for Seemandhra. Naidu responded by saying that all promises for Seemandhra must have a budgetary allocation and Planning Commission’s approval. “Without these, any promise would be hollow,” Naidu told HT, reiterating the BJP’s commitment to creating a separate Telangana state.
Union minister Jairam Ramesh called up Naidu after cabinet approved the bill. “We will respond to the draft Telangana bill after going through the details,” Naidu said. In a separate development, BJP chief Rajnath Singh had a meeting with TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday, during which he tried to woo the Telangana leader for an alliance.
Singh told Rao that the BJP had been categorical about supporting Telangana and prodded the TRS leader to think about a tie-up. Incidentally, TRS had dumped the ‘third front’ ahead of the 2009 election and supported the NDA.