By arguing that the Centre’s efforts to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, irrespective of the State legislature’s views, pose a danger to federalism (“A challenge to Indian federalism,” Oct. 28), Jayaprakash Narayan has overlooked the fact that the struggle for Telangana is six decades old. Most members of the State legislature belong to Seemandhra. How can one expect them to approve a separate state of Telangana?
The emotional division of people in Andhra Pradesh is complete; there is no point in forcing them to live together by talking about federalism and other technical issues.
M.V. Nagavender Rao,
All political parties of Andhra Pradesh, big and small, have supported the formation of a separate state of Telangana over the last 30 years — orally and in writing. But when the Centre made the final decision and the process of division was set in motion, the same parties went back on their commitment. How is that justified?
M.M. Ram Athreya,
The decision to carve out an independent state of Telangana was not made overnight or without any consensus. It may be motivated by political considerations but it is certainly not a challenge to federalism. There was a consistent demand from the TRS for a debate in the State legislature which did not happen.
As for the formation of Andhra Pradesh, caste played a major role. There was no referendum in the Telangana region. A look at the history of the State will show that only dominant castes have benefited from the Telugu State.
The article was timely, detailing the constitutional procedure to be followed before the bifurcation of a state. Obtaining the consent of a majority of Andhra Pradesh legislators is no doubt a necessity.
The arbitrary decision to create new boundaries among people has exposed the Centre’s opportunism. Is it not too late to talk of federalism and the role of stakeholders?
N. Venugopal Rao,
It is Parliament’s prerogative to alter the boundaries of a state or form a new state.
However, from the timing of the Telangana decision, it is clear that political opportunism, not the spirit of federalism, is at play here.