New Delhi: As a revolt appeared to be brewing among Congress MPs from Telangana ahead of voting on FDI in retail issue, the Government has convened on December 28 a meeting of political parties of Andhra Pradesh on separate statehood issue. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that he has given the assurance to MPs from the Telangana region who met him earlier in the day.
The move appears to be aimed at mollifying the agitating MPs to ensure their full backing during the FDI vote scheduled later on Wednesday. The meeting came close on the heels of the reports that revolt appeared to be brewing in Congress with several party MPs from Telangana on Tuesday skipping a crucial meeting called by party floor leaders in Parliament on the FDI vote and a few of them even meeting TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao.
The meeting with Rao, who has openly announced that he would vote against the UPA Government in Lok Sabha on the FDI issue, was seen as an embarrassment to the Congress and the Government. Adding to the suspense was intense speculation that a few Congress MPs from Telangana were contemplating to quit the party and join TRS, which has been spearheading the protest for a separate Telangana state in the recent times.
The MPs, who have been openly protesting against the Congress and the UPA Government on the non-decision over contentious Telangana statehood demand, also had kept up the suspense over their voting in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Tuesday's meeting was called by Home Minister and Leader of Lok Sabha Shinde and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath to seek their assurances on their vote in favour of the Government.
The Congress has issued a three-line whip asking its MPs to be present in Parliament and vote in favour of the Government.