Lok Satta Party national president Jayaprakash Narayan called for carrying out a cost-benefit analysis of various options on the table in connection with the move to bifurcate the State and suggested the need for a national platform for reconciliation.
Participating in a panel discussion during a consultation on “Dealing with the costs of division: A dialogue towards reconciliation” organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy here on Saturday, he observed that politics was the art of reconciling conflicting positions and expressed confidence that nothing was intractable. The dialogue focused on ways to find workable solutions to the various contentious issues that have dogged the process of de-merger of the State.
Leaders from seven leading political parties participated in the panel discussion in the opening session on “Telangana — Building a Framework”, while none from Telugu Desam attended the meet. Experts, academics and other stakeholders spoke in subsequent sessions.
CPI(M) State Secretary B.V. Raghavulu criticised the Central government for not initiating any process of reconciliation at political level by convening a meeting of various parties. He said enough procrastination, discussions and agitations took place and there was an urgent need to take forward the democratic process by deciding the issue in Parliament or Assembly. Once political reconciliation was achieved, other issues could be resolved through agreement or arbitration.
Yogendra Yadav, senior fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, who chaired the opening session, said politics was one of the most creative activities and said the session saw the beginning of a framework for creating a meeting ground. Earlier, he said that his party, Aam Aadmi supported creation of Telangana.
Telangana Political Joint Action Committee chairman M. Kodandaram asserted that he was not averse to taking up informal consultations with Seemandhra counterparts as “negotiated settlement” of the issue was only solution for a peaceful bifurcation of the State. He said there had been informal talks and process of dialogue was on with the people of Seemandhra region. All these issues could be resolved through deliberations and pointed out that such debates were always meaningful when held in-camera. Observing that the way forward was not difficult after the CWC decision, he lamented that the process had not moved further after that.
Senior Congress leader Gade Venkata Reddy said the State was formed on linguistic basis and division would lead to lot of difficulties on issues such as irrigation. He criticised the Congress party for deviating from its own previous CWC resolution favouring constitution of second SRC. The ruling party itself was vertically divided on the bifurcation issue in the State.
Another Congress leader and senior vice-president, APCC, M. Gangadhar, said the Congress party did not take the decision to bifurcate the State in a hurry. The most important issue at this juncture was to provide a platform for Seemandhra people to express their concerns.
CPI State Secretary K. Narayana said non-implementation of promises like Gentlemen’s Agreement and 610 GO had led to separate Telangana movement. While supporting bifurcation, he said the CPI was opposed to making Hyderabad into a Union Territory. He too suggested the creation of a mechanism comprising experts to address concerns relating to education, employment, water and other problems.
K. Haribabu, national executive member, BJP hit out at the Congress for treating the bifurcation as party issue and wanted the Centre to take the initiative to remove the fears among Seemandhra people and start a dialogue so that things could proceed smoothly.
YSR Congress Party leader M.V. Mysura Reddy said Andhra Pradesh faced a peculiar situation in which six irrigation projects — three each in Telangana and Seemandhra were taken up based on surplus waters. In the event of division of the State, the respective regulatory boards would release water on allocated share. What would be the fate of the six projects based on surplus waters, he asked.
Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen MLC, Syed Amin-ul Hasan Jaffri, said while formation of Telangana was fait accompli, there was no clarity on the status of Hyderabad and it was now open to bargaining. Hyderabad was an integral part of Telangana and Union Territory was not acceptable.