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Cong confident of T Bill, without BJP

Highlights

Cong Confident of T Bill, Without BJP, Commitment on Telangana, Telangana Bill. Keen to deliver on its commitment on Telangana, the Congress is pushing for the passage of Telangana Bill in parliament as early as in the Winter Session.

Keen to deliver on its commitment on Telangana, the Congress is pushing for the passage of Telangana Bill in parliament as early as in the Winter Session. The Congress is bracing for a scenario where the BJP could spring a surprise and try to stall the Telangana Bill, by creating uproarious scenes on coal scam or some such issue. Even in such an eventuality, the Congress is confident of passing the Telangana Bill in parliament.

According to party sources, the Congress is mulling a possible spell of President’s Rule in Andhra Pradesh. In case President’s Rule is imposed and the Assembly is either dissolved or kept in suspended animation, then the Telangana Bill can be taken directly to parliament, bypassing the State Assembly. The ruling Congress is preparing Plan B, as the Congress is apprehensive that if the Andhra Pradesh Assembly negatives the Telangana Bill, the President may not allow the further process of taking the Telangana Bill to parliament. It is against this backdrop that the Congress is mulling a spell of President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh, ahead of speeding up the Telangana process.
According to party sources, the Congress is working on the numbers, just in case the BJP refuses to cooperate with it in the passage of the Telangana Bill. An AICC source stated that the numbers have all been worked out. The Congress has 206, BSP 21, JD (U) 19, RLD 5, NCP 9, CPI 4, Independents 9, TRS 2, National Conference 3, IUML 2, JMM 2, Bodoland People’s Front 1, Sikkim Democratic Front 1, AIUDF 1, Kerala Congress 1, RJD 2 (as Lalu Yadav has been disqualified, all of which account for 282 MPs. Even if 10 Seemandhra MPs turn against, that still leaves the government with 272, which is simple majority required for the passage of the people.
Similarly, in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress is trying to mop up numbers on its side. In the 245-member Rajya Sabha, the government needs 123, which it has. The present strength of the supporting parties is Congress 71, JD (U) 9, BSP 15, Independents 9, Nominated 9, NCP 6, RJD 2, Bodoland People’s Front 1, JMM 1, Kerala Congress 1, CPI 2 and National Conference 2, which add up to an impressive 137. Even if some of the Seemandhra Congress MPs defy the whip and vote against, the Government can still comfortably sail through the voting in the Upper House.
The Congress claims that given the political consensus, Telangana Bill could be carried by voice-vote. It is very unlikely that anyone will force a division. Even in case a division is forced, the Congress is ready with its numbers in parliament.
The Congress is clear that at any cost, the Telangana Bill has to be passed ahead of the simultaneous Assembly and parliament elections in 2014.
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