Sushma's rejoinder to Kamal Nath, says Congress playing double game with passage of Telangana Bill
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday criticised Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and the Congress Party for playing a double game on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill or Telangana Bill, and rejected Nath's observation that it was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that was doing so.
"The demand for Telangana has been fulfilled today. We are satisfied that we have upheld our commitment by supporting the Bill," Sushma told media here today.
"The biggest asset of a party is its reliability. That people believe it. We have been demanding for the last ten years that the government must bring the Telangana Bill. We will support it, and will help it to get it passed. We have even said that if the present government does not bring or pass this bill, then our government will definitely bring it in the next 100 days. This was conveyed by our leaders L.K.Advani, Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh," she said.
She also questioned as to why the bill was tabled during the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha, and that too just three days before the session ends.
Responding specifically to Nath's charge that the BJP is playing a double game, Swaraj said, "It is the Congress which is playing a double game. Till the morning, their play was to just table the bill and to put the blame on us if the bill was not passed during the din. They wanted to become truthful in front of the people of Telangana."
She claimed that the BJP has spoiled the game of the Congress Party by supporting the Bill in the Lower House. She also condemned Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar's decision to stop live proceedings of the House during the voting process on the Bill, and vowed to raise the issue with Kumar.
"They (Congress) said that it is a technical glitch, but instead it was a tactical glitch," said Swaraj.
Nath had earlier said "The BJP had said that they were supporting, but instead, they are playing a double game. But now, they are exposed."
Earlier, the Lok Sabha passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill by voice vote, which proposes the formation of a new state of Telangana out of a united state of Andhra Pradesh.
Several members of parliament of the opposition parties like the Janata Dal (United), and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), however, decided to stage a walkout in protest over the manner in which the Bill was tabled and passed in the House.
Earlier today, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill was moved by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha.
At a meeting convened by Speaker Meira Kumar, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj had agreed with top ministers of the government that the bill has to be passed in Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Speaker has ordered live proceedings of the Lok Sabha to be stopped so as to avoid a repeat of last week's 'Pepper Spray incident' in front of the people.
(Posted on 19-02-2014)