Govt committed to Telangana formation: PM

December 04, 2013 - 11:07:08 am
New Delhi: The government is committed to formation of Telangana, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said yesterday.

He urged political parties to make best use of the time available during parliament’s short winter session beginning on December 5. “It should be everybody’s endeavour to make best and optimal use of the time available to the two houses,” he said.

Talking to reporters after an all-party meeting convened by Speaker Meira Kumar, the prime minister said the government would do everything in its power to ensure smooth functioning of the two houses. Leaders of parties in the Lok Sabha attended the meeting.

Members expressed concern at the short duration of the session, saying several important issues had to be discussed but there were only 12 working days. They said the government too had heavy legislative agenda. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded a bill on formation of Telangana and discussion on price rise.

Asked about the demand for creation of Telangana, the prime minister said the government was committed to it. “(We are) committed to formation of Telangana,” Manmohan Singh said, and added the government would follow the process of law for creation of the new state.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters later that several parties expressed their views for extending winter session of parliament after a break for the Christmas and the government would take a view on the issue after wider consultations.

He said the parties agreed to bring the bill on Telangana in the winter session. “It will be (our) endeavour to have the bill as early as possible,” he said.

The Group of Ministers (GoM) on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh will hold its final meeting in the national capital today to give final shape to its report, which is likely to be submitted to the union cabinet tomorrow.

The GoM headed by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde met yesterday but the meeting remained inconclusive. Shinde said they would meet again today. There was reportedly no agreement among GoM members on certain issues. Today’s meeting is likely to give final shape to the recommendations. 

The meeting was held amid intense speculations that the GoM had decided to recommend formation of Rayala-Telangana state by merging two of the four districts of Rayalaseema with Telangana, the region which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad.

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters the party wanted passage of both the bills on Telangana and Lokpal in the winter session. She said the party will also press for discussion on Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) report on the 2G spectrum allocation. “Never before have so many dissent notes been given to a JPC report,” she said.

She demanded extension of winter session of parliament due to the number of bills on the government agenda and issues that political parties wanted to raise.

Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta said his party would bring an adjournment motion on the price rise at the beginning of the session and sought support from the opposition parties. Dasgupta also demanded a discussion on the JPC report on the 2G spectrum allocation.

He said the government has 38 bills on its agenda in the winter session and there are only 12 working days. “Government is so foolish. Where is the time? The session should be extended,” he said.

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