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Sonia Gandhi driving force behind Telangana bill passage

india Updated: Feb 19, 2014 03:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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It was on Congress president Sonia Gandhi's birthday on December 9, 2009 that the UPA government made a midnight announcement of initiating the process for the formation of Telangana. It had to withdraw the move following the backlash in Seemandhra.

But on Tuesday, when the Lok Sabha took up the Telangana bill for discussion, Gandhi was at the forefront to see that the process of forming the country's 29th state moved a step closer to the conclusion.

It was also a promise she had made at a public meeting in Karimnagar district during an election campaign in 2004.

Full coverage: Telangana, the troubled state

Read: Telangana poll worries forced Congress hand

During the past few days, Gandhi had made it abundantly clear to her party's floor managers that she wanted the bill to be passed in Parliament at any cost.

She did not think twice while expelling her six party MPs from Seeamdnhra for their attempts to stall the bill in the Lok Sabha. Opposed to splitting the state, the six parliamentarians— Sabbam Hari, GV Harsha Kumar, V Arun Kumar, L Rajagopal, R Sambasiva Rao and A Sai Pratap — had been creating ruckus in the Lok Sabha and repeatedly issuing no-confidence motion notices against the UPA government.

Read: BJP attacks Congress after supporting Telangana bill

Read: Telangana brings hope for other pending bills

Gandhi met BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu in the Central Hall of Parliament on Monday and sought his party's support for the passage of the bill.

Naidu on his part assured Gandhi of his party's support provided the amendments the BJP had suggested were incorporated. In reply, the Congress president said she would speak to parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath and rural development minister Jairam Ramesh to address their concerns.

Read: AAP rants, BJP smirks after TV blackout in Parliament

Read: Seemandhra must be compensated: Venkaiah Naidu