Obliquely referring to the ongoing turmoil over the demand for a separate Telangana State, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has said that while taking any decision on the matter, not only emotions of people, but the long-term repercussions must also be taken into consideration.
Speaking at the 15th meeting of the National Integration Council at New Delhi on Saturday, which was addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr Reddy said when emotions of all sections of people in a State or region were high leading to disturbance of peace, it was the government's responsibility to tackle the situation delicately and restore balance.
Such a situation would normally require a two-dimensional approach, political and administrative. A civil disturbance with an emotional content could not be handled as a mere law and order problem. “The State needs to take a larger view.” When the situation was surcharged with emotions, political leaders, in power or out of it, should exercise restraint while issuing statements. Undue and indiscriminate comments by them on sensitive issues could complicate matters.
The Chief Minister, at the same time, said when there was civil disturbance with emotional baggage, police should play a responsible role while a political solution was being worked. Touching upon national integration, he said India's unity was unbreakable although there were instances of cross-border terrorism, communal conflicts and naxalism which, indeed, would leave lessons for policy-makers. The outlook of ‘Aam admi' was such that nothing could weaken the nation.
On his part, he was committed to keeping Andhra Pradesh free from all kinds of pernicious disturbances. He cited Hyderabad as an example of peaceful co-existence by people of different religions and cultures despite attempts by some elements to disturb its peace. A number of measures had been initiated to improve the lot of the Muslims like earmarking a Rs. 2,000-crore budget to develop the old city, 4 per cent reservation in education and employment and introduction of English education in madarasas. He sought concerted efforts to involve media barons, particularly those of TV channels, for self-discipline among them while telecasting events and statements with potential to trigger communal clashes. Unity could be sustained by empowering the disadvantaged sections through educational and economic development, he said, listing out various welfare schemes implemented for them in the State.
As youths frustrated over lack of employment tend to come under influence of anti-social elements, he launched Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu to impart skills and provide job opportunities to 15 lakh persons during the next three years. Tribal youths from naxalite-infested areas were being recruited under a special drive whereas steps were being taken to fill over one lakh vacant government posts.
The Chief Minister participated in a luncheon meeting hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday in Delhi.
Chief Ministers of Jharkhand, Tripura, Chhattisgarh and Jammu & Kashmir joined the luncheon meeting on the sidelines the National Integration Council meeting in New Delhi. Later, the Chief Minister had one-on-one meetings with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.