A day after Telangana decision, signs of some good sense - The New Indian Express

A day after Telangana decision, signs of some good sense

Published: 01st August 2013 08:02 AM

Last Updated: 01st August 2013 08:54 AM

Is it finally time to move on? A day after an in principle decision to divide Andhra Pradesh was announced, pending legislative processes and amidst protests in parts of Coastal-Rayalaseema regions, a redeeming feature seems to be signs of political discourse slowly moving away from public posturing and rabble rousing that the State has witnessed in the last few years.

Having left it to the Congress and thereby, the UPA, to take a final call on the contentious issue of Telangana, the main Opposition Telugu Desam and the fledgling YSR Congress are left with few weapons to do an encore of December 2009 when there were mass resignations of legislators from the Andhra side. In any case, Congressmen from those regions appear to have been brought around to accept the final decision much before it was actually announced.

Yet, ministers and legislators, at least some of them, are likely to come under pressure to resign or may contemplate it if they are looking for better political alternatives even as Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is said to be cautioning them against taking recourse to such a step — a task he has been assigned by the high command. Understandably, the protests over division are relatively muted in Coastal Andhra and more serious in Rayalaseema, by any measure the most backward among the three regions of the State. Ever since December, 2009, and even before,  public discourse, particularly on the political side, has been largely restricted to mutual recrimination — the Telangana folk accusing their counterparts of looting the region and those from the other side claiming that if Hyderabad has developed, it was only because of their “leadership and entrepreneurial vision.”

Every party was blaming everyone else for the mess in which the state landed.The question is whether the state leaders will continue to argue as to where the buck stops or whether it is time to move on and think of the future? At least, well-meaning people on both sides of the divide seem to prefer the latter course. And, politicians seem to be falling in line if statements that came out on Wednesday are any indication and going by the concerns that need to be addressed — sharing of river waters, power, revenue and educational facilities which have thus far been concentrated in Hyderabad.

A couple of ministers from Coastal region, all of whom have earlier threatened to resign, are beginning to rethink and talk sense. “Resignation will not serve any purpose. The need now is to ensure that the rights of Andhra are protected in all respects,” Minister Dokka Varaprasad averred. 

Telangana votaries without vested political interests are privately expressing the view that the job is only half done and the real task lies ahead in reconstructing the region in line with the promises made so far. Having kept a studied silence during the one/two months that the Congress engaged itself in arriving at a decision which it did finally, former chief minister and Telugu Desam chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu came out with a statesman-like approach on Wednesday, apparently in the belief that development issues will dominate the agenda for next elections, a plank on which TDP is better placed vis-à-vis the others.

“Let us not talk politics now. The divided Andhra state needs huge funds for building a new capital on the lines of Hyderabad or Chennai. Likewise, the Pranahita-Chevella project for Telangana should be given national status like Polavaram for Andhra. There are also concerns among students, farmers and other sections in Andhra over various issues and it is the duty of the Centre to address all of them before division is formalized by way of a Parliamentary legislation,” Naidu said.

Majlis chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who had opposed division of the State, too came out with a statement that his party will cooperate with the Centre and the State in ensuring a smooth transition for creation of two states even as he accused Delhi of announcing separation as a fait accompli.

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