The political rhetoric usually tapers with the conclusion of an election process. But in Andhra Pradesh, in the end-phase of bifurcation, parties still have a lot to fight for. Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K. Chandrasekhara Rao seems intent on a confrontational course not only on the sharing of resources but also on issues relating to allotment of employees to the Secretariats of the two States in Hyderabad. Mr. Rao went too far by threatening that he would not allow employees of the Andhra region placed in the Telangana cadre to work in the offices of Telangana. Quite inappropriately for one who is to assume office as Chief Minister of the new State, Mr. Rao asked a meeting of employees from Telangana to send details of “Andhra employees” included in the Telangana list, or name them at the “war room” run by employee unions. Genuine errors could have been made in the drawing up of the provisional list of employees for the two States as per entries in their Service Register, but these can be corrected quickly enough through laid-down procedures. Mr. Rao is vesting employee unions with extraordinary powers, and giving scope for harassment and persecution of employees through his open call to name “Andhra” employees. As against claims by unions that 193 employees were wrongly allocated to the Telangana cadre, officials could identify no more than a dozen cases of allotment mistakes. To raise doubts over the correctness of the entries in the Service Register is to move the dispute to another level altogether.
Issues arising out of the bifurcation are complex, and can be resolved only through established procedures for apportioning assets and liabilities, employees and institutions. Official committees assigned with the responsibilities of facilitating the post-bifurcation redistribution have completed their task. The governments of the two successor-states must do nothing that could complicate this process of sharing and redistribution. River water and power generation are subjects that will occupy the time and effort of Mr. Rao and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-designate, N. Chandrababu Naidu, in the immediate future. But the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 provides for the management and development of water resources, and for allotment of power from the Central Generating Stations based on the actual energy consumption of the last five years. Mechanisms for dispute resolution are already in place, and nothing is to be gained from emotional outbursts that appeal to parochial sensibilities. Telangana and the successor-state of Andhra Pradesh must look forward to working in coordination, and not start off in confrontationist mode.