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Telangana bill not taken up in Rajya Sabha
Wednesday February 19, 2014 7:06 PM, IANS

The Rajya Sabha could not take up the bill for the formation of Telangana Wednesday as the government and the opposition could not reach any consensus over amendments in the bill.

A senior leader from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) told IANS there are a total of 32 amendments which his party wants to incorporate in the bill.

However, if the bill is passed in the upper house with amendments, it will have to go back to the Lok Sabha for its approval before it is sent to the president for his assent, and the government feels this would create more trouble in the passage of the legislation.

As a consensus could not be reached, the bill was dropped for the day, and Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien adjourned the Rajya Sabha shortly after 5 p.m.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also met Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley and BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu so that the bill could be passed Wednesday, but the meeting yielded no results.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath was seen holding parleys with leaders from the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party on the floor of the house.

Speculations over the bill being tabled in the Rajya Sabha continued through the day, and a supplementary list of business circulated after lunch also listed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill for consideration and passing.

Even as Y.S. Chowdhary and C.M. Ramesh of the Telugu Desam Party and K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao of the Congress stood near the chairman's podium with posters demanding "united Andhra Praesh" and "save Andhra Pradesh", the house passed four bills in a row, after an agreement among parties.

While the bill for Telangana was expected next, the house was suddenly adjourned for half an hour around 4.30 p.m.

When the house met again at 5 p.m, Kurien said passing four bills was enough work for a day and adjourned the house till Thursday.

The amendments that BJP proposes to move include one for granting a Rs.10,000 crore financial package to residual state of Seemandhra, as it will lose revenue when Hyderabad goes to Telangana, a BJP leader told IANS.

Financial aid for Seemandhra for coming years will be decided by a finance commission, and it will come from the consolidated fund of the central government, not from the state's funds.

Another amendment sought industrial concession for north coastal Andhra, Rayalseema and backward areas of Telangana, sources said.

Special funds for setting up the capital of Seemandhra have also been sought.

Some similar amendments have also been prepared by Congress leaders from Seemandhra.

However, a Congress MP told IANS they were ready to drop the amendments if the government did not agree.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla said the government will place the Telangana bill in the Rajya Sabha Thursday.

Sources from the Congress added that party chief Sonia Gandhi has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to grant special status to Seemandhara for five years.

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