In the wake of attempts by the government to push the Telangana Bill, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh today said that it should not rush the proposed legislation amidst the "cacophony" in Parliament.
"Surely, I would be the first to argue that such a far- reaching Bill should be discussed in Parliament, should be debated and should not be pushed through in a cacophony when protests of a violent nature are taking place," Ramesh told Karan Thapar on his 'Devil's Advocate' programme on CNN-IBN.
Asked whether the government would pull the Bill if a sensible debate could not be held over it, Ramesh said, "My personal belief is that such an important piece of legislation must be debated and discussed and not pushed through in a din."
Ramesh, a key member of the GoM on Telangana, said he had articulated his position on the issue at party fora as well.
"We shouldn't have any unilateral initiative in the House. We have to bring BJP on board. We should try to create a larger consensus beyond BJP as well. We have four days left. I hope we can get it done," he said.
Ramesh's statement comes at a time when the opposition has rejected the government's claim that it had tabled the Telangana Bill in Parliament.
"I spoke to the home minister yesterday. He said that the Bill has been introduced. There are differing views on it. I know Sushma Swaraj has given a different view. It is the reading of the home minister as also the parliamentary affairs minister that the Bill stands introduced," Ramesh added.
The Congress leader also slammed his party colleague and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who has publicly opposed the bifurcation of the state.
"I think Reddy has not been loyal to the Congress party... Unfortunately, he is a Congress chief minister... I am sorry, he is a good friend of mine... but I think he has really crossed the 'Lakshman Rekha' of discipline as far as I am concerned," said Ramesh, a Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh.