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was no demand for withdrawal of cases against people from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra, cases against them were also withdrawn.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.
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 Reddyâ€™s revolt against Sonia Gandhi. He called, through a TV programme, Manmohan Singh a rubber stamp and Sonia Gandhiâ€™s leadership a failure.
Third was B. S. Yeddyurappaâ€™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 fatherâ€™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 Rosaiahâ€™s resignation. By night Kiran Kumar Reddy was selected as chief minister as Andhra Pradesh.