Congress MPs from Telangana boycott party meeting on FDI
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Keeping Congress on tenterhooks on their strategy during the crucial FDI vote tomorrow, eight party MPs from Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh today 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 tomorrow open saying a decision on this would be taken only tomorrow.
The meeting was called by Home Minister and Leader of Lok Sabha Sushilkumar 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 this 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 today after Prabhakar had indicated yesterday 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 today and vote tomorrow, 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.