The Union Home Ministry’s initiative to call all recognised political parties in Andhra Pradesh for talks on the Telangana issue is welcome. Neither has the Congress come out with any firm stand on bifurcation of the State nor has it voiced its opinion to the Pranab Mukherjee Committee while all other parties have done so — some have even backtracked on their stand. As the Congress and the Telugu Desam, major political parties of the State, are divided on regional lines on the bifurcation issue, one wonders how their top leadership are going to face the discussions on January 5.
The Centre has taken the welcome initiative to invite political parties for a discussion. It is hoped that at least some direction for the future, if not a consensus, will emerge. Meanwhile, people from all regions of Andhra Pradesh must exercise restraint and put their emotions behind and exhibit reason and rationale. It is amusing to note that some self-styled politicians from the Andhra region are raising the redundant slogan of a “separate Andhra.” Also, there is no need to disturb the tranquillity on the university campuses.
The latest announcement on all-party meeting is long overdue. Had the decision been taken before Mr. Chidambaram’s earlier statements, the unfortunate turmoil and hardship in Andhra Pradesh could have been avoided. Even now, let the Home Minister not jump to conclusions based on the version of a few cunning politicians.
The decision to keep the State united or otherwise should be taken on administrative merit and not because the people of the region want it. The Centre should come out with facts of the revenue generated and expenditure done in each of the regions. Also it should make public the reasons for any decision taken after the meeting. If there is evidence that injustice has been done to any part of the State, let a package be announced. Division should not be allowed because of blackmail — political or emotional.
Carving out a separate Telangana State from Andhra Pradesh is a stupendous task and cannot be done overnight without consulting the stakeholders in other regions which constitute the present unified State. Rome was not built in a day. The Centre is the arbitrator in the case. It is the duty of the leaders of the Joint Action Committee to give some elbow room to the Centre to manoeuvre and perform its constitutional obligations in an impartial manner. Hope good sense and patience prevail upon all leaders at this crucial juncture.
Leaders representing various political parties should take part in the meeting with an open mind and give the Central government a fair chance and time to consult all other apolitical stakeholders before giving a final shape to formation of a new state or otherwise. Ministers who took to the streets should now get down to work. It’s also time the student community abandoned its agitation programmes.
The Centre’s decision on ‘consultation’ on the Telangana issue seems to be an attempt to buy time, given the fact that no agenda has been specified. Caught in a bind, it is keen on sending out the message that it is trying to set in motion some process to grant statehood to Telangana while, at the same time, is trying its best not to antagonise the people of the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
K. V. Rajasekhar,
The Home Ministry has done the right thing by initiating a move for consultation on January 5. However, let it not complicate the issue further by succumbing to any pressure group while defining the criteria for statehood. The concept of linguistic States has been well accepted. Doing away with it based on popular demand or on the ground of respecting regional sentiments or the longevity of the demand could prove to be dangerous. One cannot accept the Telangana demand as sentimental and reject Gorkhaland or Vidarbha or similar demands from elsewhere.
Duggaraju Srinivas Rao,
Earlier, the Home Minister asked for an Assembly resolution to initiate the process. To pass a resolution, the ruling Congress has adequate majority in the Assembly. Besides the TRS, the BJP and the CPI still support the Telangana cause. The Congress leadership at the Centre, instead of prevailing upon the State party to pass the resolution, now calls for another purposeless meeting. The UPA committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee could do nothing to resolve the tangle. Earlier, the Central Congress leaders used to say that there was no unanimity among the UPA partners and hence the party was helpless. In fact, still there is no unanimity among them on the Telangana issue. The State Congress too is vertically divided. Why this futile exercise?