New Delhi: Keeping Congress on tenterhooks on their strategy during the crucial FDI vote on Wednesday, eight party MPs from Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday boycotted a meeting called by party floor leaders in Parliament to seek their assurances on participation in the debate. The MPs, who have been openly protesting against the Congress and the UPA Government on the non-decision over contentious Telangana statehood demand, also kept the question of skipping the vote on Wednesday open saying a decision on this would be taken only on Wednesday.
The meeting was called by Home Minister and Leader of Lok Sabha Sushil Kumar Shinde and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath to seek their assurances on their vote in favour of the government. However, only two Union Ministers S Jaipal Reddy, Sarvey Satyanarayana and Balram Naik attended the meeting on Tuesday morning. "We boycotted the meeting.We did not want to go," Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar said.
His colleague and Nizamabad MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi also spoke in a similar vein when he said they decided unanimously to boycott the meeting called by party leaders. The meeting was called on Tuesday after Prabhakar had indicated on Monday that they could abstain themselves from the vote in protest against the Centre s delay in announcing the formation of a state.
On whether they would participate in the debate on Tuesday and vote on Wednesday, the two MPs were evasive, saying, "it will be decided tomorrow." The Congress has also issued a three-line whip asking its MPs to be present in Parliament and vote in favour of the Government. If the Telangana MPs abstain from voting, they risk facing action from the party.