Andhra politics on cross roads
The Congress is going through some very nervous moments in relation to politics in Andhra Pradesh. With Justice B.N.Srikrishna expected to give his report on the future of the state on Friday, the situation in Andhra is certainly going to be very tense. The irony is that if the report comes out for unified Andhra, there is bound to be trouble and if it calls for a separate Telengana, there is going to be trouble. And even if it is silent on the bifurcation and does not rule either way, there could be trouble. The only common thing is that Andhra Pradesh may witness some troubled times in the near future.
In fact, the trouble in Andhra is the creation of the Congress party itself. Without doing larger consultations and without getting the approval of the Cabinet, the Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram went ahead and announced the creation of Telengana after a meeting of the Congress core group on December 9, 2009. The Srikrishna committee was constituted when the government discovered that the ramifications were going to be very dangerous and could affect its continuation. After all, it was because of Andhra Pradesh that the UPA-1 and later the UPA-2 were formed. The mandate in both the polls was for a unified Andhra but some people after Y.S.Rajasekhar’s death thought that it would be best to split the state.
They failed to realize that the separation could affect the continuation of the Andhra state government to begin with and could ultimately have an impact even on the Central government given that 33 Congress MPs of Lok Sabha belong to the state.
This is what is worrying the Congress now. The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had a meeting with his senior Cabinet colleagues to take stock of the situation on Wednesday. Even he must be realizing the gravity of the situation and knows in his heart of hearts that an instable Andhra would imply an instable Centre so far as this government goes. On top of that the wrong handling of YSR’s son, Jaganmohan, which led to his resignation from the party, also spells a major threat to the Congress in the long run. Jaganmohan is emerging as a very popular leader and is considered by many as the future CM of the state. If the move was simply to prevent him from becoming more powerful, the Congress seems to have totally miscalculated. Even after YSR’s death, the Congress made the mistake of appointing K.Rosiah as the state’s CM citing his seniority. Everyone knows that Rosiah is from the Vaish community and in Andhra; Politicians who are either Kamma’s or Reddys can thrive in the electoral game. He was a month ago eased out to make way for young and inexperienced Kiran Reddy. Though it may be premature to judge him so early, it is unlikely, Kiran has the capacity to hold the Congress flock together.
On the whole my take is that Andhra trouble could be a major trouble for the Congress and the Central government. The issue will cause incalculable damage to the governments in power both at the State and the Centre.