Telangana bill: Congress hopeful of passage in Parliament

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 6 2014, 02:34am hrs
Congress today voiced confidence that it will be able to settle Telangana issue amicably and ensure passage of the bill for creation of the separate state even as pro and anti-T movement groups disrupted Parliament proceedings and clashed outside.

Party sources said that senior leaders Digvijay Singh and Jairam Ramesh are holding talks with both groups to defuse the tense situation and solve the issue amicably. The leaders are also in touch with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath to finalise the strategy before the bill for creation of Telangana is brought before Parliament next week.

At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "It's a emerging situation. It's an emotive issue and naturally emotions run high on both sides.

"I am confident that we will settle the issue amicably and as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said we will move forward.... I am hopeful that the bill will be passed."

His remarks came on a day when supporters of both Telangana and Seemandhra clashed with each other during a protest outside the Andhra Bhawan here in support of their demands.

Supporters from both sides held separate protests outside the Bhawan and raised slogans in support of their demands.

A clash soon broke out between the two sides but police quickly intervened to stop it.

The issue also rocked both Houses of Parliament today leading to adjournment of the Lok Sabha for the day and repeated adjournments of Rajya Sabha.

Both the Houses saw noisy scenes as soon as they met for the day with members from Andhra Pradesh -- from Telangana as well as Seemandhra regions -- cutting across party lines storming the Well. Those protesting included members from ruling Congress.

To questions about the possibility of BJP scuttling the passage of Telangana bill in Parliament to please its new possible ally TDP, a senior Congress leader said that let the BJP first "expose" itself on the separate statehood issue.

The leader also claimed that Congress has the required numbers in Parliament with support from other parties to see the legislation through.