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Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Telangana

Telangana resignations

On 4/7/2011 many MPs and MLAs resigned demanding formation of Telangana. MPs belonged to Congress. MLAs belonged to Congress and TDP. Congress had promised Telangana in 2004 and in December 2009 Home Minister P. Chidambaram had announced the beginning of process for the formation of Telangana. Then Andhra MLAs resigned and there was opposition to Telangana from politicians of other regions of Andhra Pradesh. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy was the speaker. He did not accept the resignations. K. Rosaiah was the chief minister and supporters of Jaganmohan Reddy wanted to bring down his government so that Jaganmohan Reddy can be chief minister. Then formation of Telangana was put on hold. Telangana MLAs resigned. Later Congress, TDP and PRP MLAs withdrew their resignations. TRS MLAs stood firm with their resignations. When elections followed in their constituencies they won. Months later when K. Rosaiah was removed as chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy was made chief minister. Jaganmohan Reddy quit Congress.

Srikrishna Commission was appointed with terms of reference to look into different possibilities. Its report was rejected by the people of Telangana. Pressure started to build up on Telangana politicians. Some were beaten up. Being seen in public became difficult for them. They demanded Telangana and announced their intention to resign and Congress did not promise Telangana and they resigned.

It is said that 600 students have died demanding Telangana. Things can go out of control if people resort to violence to achieve their end. Physical attacks on politicians were one aspect. More acts of violence may follow.

Political parties should not make promises they do not intend to keep. Once formation of Telangana was announced, central government should have stood by it. Telangana was part of Hyderabad which had Telugu, Marathi and Kannada districts. The nizam of Hyderabad wanted to remain independent. India annexed Hyderabad. When India became independent there were no linguistic states. Many Telugu districts were part of Madras. Potti Sriramulu wanted those districts to be separated and formed as Andhra Pradesh. When Andhra Pradesh was formed Telangana was not part of it. It was added in 1956.

Telangana and small states

Telangana is back in news. TRS, BJP and CPI want statehood for Telangana. Congress is divided. TDP, PRP and CPM are opposed to statehood for Telangana.

Many times politicians make promises they do not intend to keep. They have to pay the price. Congress had promised statehood for Telangana in 2004 and 2009. In Telangana all MPs and MLAs had promised statehood for Telangana in 2009. When the process for initiation of the formation of Telangana began in December 2009 many politicians went back on their word and opposed Telangana.

Appointing Srikrishna Commission was meant to buy time. That did not serve the purpose. The commission gave six options. For people of Telangana the only option acceptable is formation of Telangana with Hyderabad as capital.

Congress did not want TRS to get credit for the formation of Telangana. There was the farce of Congress MPs fasting for withdrawal of cases against people booked for arson and other offences during the agitation for Telangana. On the second day of fast their demand was granted. Though there was no demand for withdrawal of cases against people from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra, cases against them were also withdrawn.

Congress had a chance to appoint someone from Telangana as chief minister and all ministers from Telangana when K. Roasaiah was asked to quit. It did not do. Kiran Kumar Reddy is opposed to Telangana. As Speaker in December 2009 when Andhra and Rayalaseema MLAs resigned he did not accept their resignations and the problem worsened.

Some oppose statehood for Telangana saying it will give rise to similar demands elsewhere. There is nothing wrong in demanding statehood. They remain part of India. In 2000 Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh were formed. That did not give rise to many demands. Paramilitary forces that should have been in North-East India are deployed in Telangana and there is no one to check violence in parts of Assam and Meghalaya.

A referendum is being held in South Sudan to decide on the demand of the people there to secede from Sudan. Demand for statehood is not secession.

Uttar Pradesh government is not opposed to its division. UP Legislative Assembly has passed resolutions favouring division. West Bengal government is opposed to formation of Gorkhaland. BJP is in favour of Vidarbha, Shiv Sena is against it. There has not been much popular demand for Vidarbha. Demand for Coorg occasionally crops up. In Rajasthan some people want division.

Narasimha Rao once said I have decided not to decide. He hoped the problem will go away. The problems remained. He lost power. If Congress thinks it can delay the matters and not to come to a decision it has to be ready to lose power.

Statehood for Telangana

On 9 December 2009 at 11.30 p.m. P. Chidambaram announced the initiation of process for statehood for Telangana. Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhara Rao, leader of Telangana Rashtra Samiti, called off his fast.
It is unlikely that K. Chandrashekhara Rao wanted to fast unto death for Telangana. There was no need to arrest him when he began fast. After two days he gave up his fast. There was hostile reaction to his giving up of his fast. He blamed the police saying they forced him to end fast and resumed his fast. He reminded me of Dev Anand in Guide who is trapped by circumstances to undertake a fast and dies. The demand for statehood for Telangana had support from students and many others and things went out of control. The announcement by Chidambaram saved KCR.
Next day Non-Telangana MLAs and MPs of Andhra Pradesh protested statehood for Telangana. Many threatened to resign and sent their resignations to party leaders. Some said Hyderabad should not go to Telangana.
When India became independent there were no linguistic states. The demand for Andhra Pradesh led to the formation of linguistic states. When Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1953 Telangana was not part of it and Hyderabad was not its capital. Telangana became part of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Hyderabad should go to Telangana. There is no justification for making it a Union Territory or capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Comparison with Chandigarh is not justified. Chandigarh is close to the border of Haryana. According to Rajiv-Longowal Accord Chandigarh was to become part of Punjab on 26 January 1986. That was not done.
Congress MLAs who are opposed to statehood for Telangana should have said it when they were asked about it. Instead they authorised Congress High Command to take a decision.
Chandrababu Naidu said he will support a resolution for statehood for Telangana if Congress moves it in the Assembly. Now that a decision has been taken there is no point in blaming others for what happened. In October 2008 he expressed support for statehood for Telangana reversing the policy of Telugu Desam which was opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh.
The announcement gave a boost to many statehood demands. People from various regions have demanded statehood from time to time. Sometimes the agitations have been violent. There are demands for statehood for Coorg, Vidarbha, Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Mithilanchal, Gorkhaland and Bodoland.
Some talk demand for smaller states as opening of Pandora’s box. Some talk of Telangana virus. These reactions are unjustified. Many demands were there for a long time. There is no opposition for division of Uttar Pradesh. Coorg and Gorkhaland are small. West Bengal is opposed to Gorkhaland. Decisions have to be taken on a case by case basis.

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