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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Cong fears parties may not aid Telangana formation

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi & Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 04, 2014
First Published: 00:09 IST(4/2/2014) | Last Updated: 00:27 IST(4/2/2014)

There are mounting fears that the attempt to carve out India’s 29th state – Telangana – could be a still-born.

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The UPA government is losing sleep over worries that the Congress plan to deliver on its Telangana promise before the general elections may not fructify in the light of its assessment that other political parties may not be as supportive of its initiative.

The Congress brass is “very keen” on creating the state, given the fact that Telangana was the only area of Andhra where the party could do well in the Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress has already been relegated to the margins in Seemandhra where the contest is between YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam Party.

A Congress leader said the BJP – on whom the UPA had hoped to lean on for support – appeared to be firming up its position against creating Telangana.

The leader said the first hint of the change in stance came through in the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s speech on Sunday where he criticised the Congress for creating divisions amongst the people of Andhra Pradesh.

On Monday, BJP leaders seemed to echo this sentiment when they spoke about an impending alliance with the TDP chief after his meeting with BJP chief Rajnath Singh.

At Monday’s all-party meeting too, the BJP only pledged to cooperate with the government on passing the vote-on-account, giving itself enough elbow room to raise objections.

With the TDP and Telangana Rashtra Samiti leaders already camping in Delhi, the Congress leadership also summoned its defiant chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to discuss the next step. Reddy was instrumental in the state assembly passing a resolution against the initiative.

For one, MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has also made it clear that he wanted to move some amendments to the bill. “But I will do so only if the House is in order,” he told HT.

Congress leaders conceded that they had their fingers crossed in the light of the lukewarm response of other political parties to the legislation, particularly demands that the bill be considered only if there was a semblance of order in the House.


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