Tag: chief minister

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.

Three Events

Three recent events in India have significance.

First was Colors challenging I&B Ministry and going to court. I&B Ministry had asked Imagine and Colours to shift their 9.00 p.m. programmes to a time slot between 11.00 p.m. and 5.00 a.m. Imagine obliged. Colors went to court. It got a stay order.

Second was Jaganmohan Reddy’s revolt against Sonia Gandhi. He called, through a TV programme, Manmohan Singh a rubber stamp and Sonia Gandhi’s leadership a failure.

Third was B. S. Yeddyurappa’s defiance of BJP central leadership. No chief minister of any national party had done that and survived as chief minister.

These three events show challenge to central leadership, whether of government or party. TV channels had submitted to the I&B Ministry. Colors has set a precedent. I&B Ministry acts arbitrarily based on the complaints it receives. A programme that is regressive and glorifies something illegal is allowed to continue because there are no complaints. A programme is in trouble when some people find it indecent and complain. I&B Ministry did not act against Balika Vadhu which glorified child marriage which is illegal because the serial was popular with some sections and there were no complaints. Indecency is subjective. Some find a programme indecent, others not. Some programmes claim to be reality TV but how much reality is there in those programmes is questionable. There are many channels. People who do not like a programme do not have to watch it.

In a parliamentary democracy it is for MLAs to decide who should be the chief minister. People sitting in Delhi deciding who should be chief minister of a state is not democracy. Many times MLAs go through the motions of electing chief minister. Sometimes they pass resolutions authorising the party president to select the chief minister. In some cases the person selected is not MLA or MLC.

Jaganmohan wanted to be chief minister of Andhra Pradesh after his father’s death. Many Congress MPs, MLAs and other members wanted him to be the chief minister. Sonia Gandhi chose K. Rosaiah. At first it appeared it was for a short time. When he continued Jaganmohan and supporters created trouble. Jaganmohan defied party leaders. Attacking Sonia Gandhi should have resulted in expulsion. Instead of expelling Jaganmohan, Congress leadership asked Rosaiah to quit.

Yeddyurappa had trouble from within and outside BJP. He survived. BJP and independent MLAs who withdrew support were disqualified. When central leaders wanted him to quit he went on a show of strength. BJP had to say Yeddyurappa will continue as CM.

Interestingly, 24/11/2010 was a day of twist. Reporters were waiting for the announcement that Yeddyurappa will resign. Instead came the unexpected announcement of Rosaiah’s resignation. By night Kiran Kumar Reddy was selected as chief minister as Andhra Pradesh.

Bhopal Blame Game

After the verdict on Bhopal gas leak a blame game has been going on. Most of the time it has been about Warren Anderson. Who let Anderson go? Why was he not extradited? These questions have been discussed ad nauseam. M. K. Rasgotra, then foreign secretary, has spoken. Warren Anderson was given an assurance that he will not be arrested in India. After his arrest USA’s charge de affairs contacted M. K. Rasgotra. M. K. Rasgotra contacted cabinet secretary and home ministry and Anderson was free. Rajiv Gandhi was then foreign minister. Narasimha Rao was then home minister. Both are dead. Arjun Singh, then chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, kept quiet for many days. Then he said he did not release Anderson.
Veerappa Moily blamed judiciary for diluting the charges to traffic accident. Justice Ahmadi and Justice Mazumdar had diluted the charges and rejected the petition and review petition against the same. Now there is talk of filing a curative petition.
When Union Carbide agreed to pay 470 million dollars as compensation in 1989 civil and criminal charges against it were dropped. Was it right to revive criminal charges later?
Congress and BJP have blamed each other regarding various things related to Bhopal gas leak. There is discussion about the liability of Dow Chemicals, successor to Union Carbide. Abishek Singhvi of Congress and Arun Jaitley of BJP were engaged by Dow Chemicals.
There are complaints that the hospital set up for Bhopal victims does not serve them. It is a superspeciality hospital that serves people who pay.
Many people who did not suffer got compensation. They should be asked to return the amount.

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