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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

‘Government stoking demand for smaller states’

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 02, 2013
First Published: 00:34 IST(2/8/2013) | Last Updated: 00:36 IST(2/8/2013)

A section of the opposition targeted the government for “inflaming passions across India” over the demand for smaller states during Thursday’s all-party meeting. These parties even threatened to derail the monsoon session over this issue.

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But most parties supported the government’s decision on Telangana, with senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj asking the Centre to table the relevant bill during the monsoon session itself.

Led by Trinamool Congress’ Sudip Bandopadhyay, Shiv Sena’s Ananth Geete and AGP’s Birendra Baishya they accused the UPA ministers of stoking sentiments across India. Bandopadhyay wondered about the “frequent meetings” the Union ministers were having with Gorkhaland leaders: “We have reports that these leaders were assured of Gorkhaland being made a Union territory.”

At this point, both finance minister P Chidambaram and home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde intervened to refute the allegations, pointing out that it was not possible to stop meeting regional leaders.

Shinde also clarified later that there was no possibility of the Andhra Pradesh reorganisation bill being brought during the monsoon session.

Geete accused Union minister Praful Patel of inciting “divisive sentiments” in his statement on Wednesday. Senior NCP leader Tariq Anwar explained that Patel had only aired the party’s line on Vidarbha, but Geete maintained that the remarks assumed much larger significance. Patel had said on Wednesday that if the people of Vidarbha wanted a separate state, the NCP would support it.

The AGP leader also warned the centre of the consequences in Bodoland, Assam, in the wake of the decision to create Telangana.


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