Telangana issue may rock Parliament

The BJP and CPI-M said the Congress should restrain its own members and allies from causing disruptions, referring to the Telangana protests by Congress members while the Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal-United said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government should focus on the financial business during the session.

Session to have 12 sittings

Speaking to reporters after an all-party meeting ahead of Winter Session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said there was a need to rise above politics to get the Anti-corruption Bills and the Women's Reservation Bill passed in the session, which will have 12 sittings between February 5 and 21. 

‘Telangana Bill on high priority’

He said the bill for creating a separate state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh was "a high priority for the government".

The bill is expected to be introduced in the session despite its rejection by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.  MPs from Seemandhra as the other two regions - coastal Andhra and Rayalseema - are collectively known, including those from Congress, have opposed division of the state.

Sources said that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy may meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday to request him not to recommend the state reorganisation bill for introduction in Parliament.

Parties should make stand clear on Telangana: Kamal Nath

Kamal Nath said the parties should to make their stand clear whether they are for Telangana or against. "There should be no 'ifs' and 'buts'," he said.

Six anti-corruption bills pending in Parliament

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said he will talk to Opposition leaders to ensure passage of important Bills, including six Anti-corruption Bills. These include the Public Procurement Bill, the Prevention of Corruption Act (amendment) Bill, a Bill to prevent Bribery of Foreign Public Officials, the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, the Right of Citizens to time-bound delivery of goods and services and redressal of their grievances Bill and the Whistleblowers Protection Bill.

"I shall talk to the opposition leaders and make them understand that both the government and the Opposition will have to work together to pass the Bills," Gandhi told reporters.

Kamal Nath said that though the 15th Lok Sabha passed a fewer bills, some historical bills were cleared.
"There is a need to rise above politics. The 15th Lok Sabha should make its place in history," he said.

Asked if the government will present a vote-on-account or an interim budget ahead of the general elections expected in April-May, he said the "vote-on-account will be for four months".

Govt can’t blame Opposition for disruptions: BJP

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj said her party will support the passage of the bills if the government ensures orderly functioning of the two Houses.

The government cannot blame the opposition for disruptions as its own members have been protesting on the issue of Telangana, she said, adding the Congress-led government's grip was not only slipping ‘over the country but also on its own Chief Ministers and MPs’.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury, noting the government had 39 Bills on its agenda in 12 days of business, asked it how it will ensure orderly conduct in the two Houses in the wake of the conflicting views of its own members on Telangana.

Only financial bills should be brought: Samajwadi Party

JD-U leader Sharad Yadav said the government should get the financial bills passed between February 12 and 21 as passage of other bills "looks difficult in the prevailing conditions", while SP leader Ramgopal Yadav also said that "only financial bills should be brought" by the government.

 (JPN/Agencies)

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