Telangana haunts Congress
With the protests coming on to the streets and majority of MPs and MLAs from the Telangana region resigning, the crisis in Andhra Pradesh refuses to die down. The Congress which came to power in both 2004 and 2009 on the strength of MPs from the state finds itself in a very difficult situation. If it concedes the demand it itself apparently supported after the meeting of its core committee on December 9, 2009, it loses out heavily in the other regions of the state. If it dilly dallies any further, it gets into a fix from which it cannot extricate itself easily. Interestingly, the problem is the party’s own creation and its inability to handle the fall out of the ill timed announcement is making things increasingly difficult.
Telangana is just a part of the problem in the state. The other being YS Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late Chief Minister YS Rajsekhar Reddy who is gaining ground in every corner of the three regions. He is likely to exploit the happenings to his own advantage. In political terms, it means, the Congress is emerging as the loser in the state which was till recently its strongest state in the country. Another implication is that the party’s weakened status in Andhra in its present form will have its ramifications both on the state and the centre which is already doing firefighting for its survival in the wake of so many scams getting unearthed day after day.
The announcement for the creation of the Telangana is seen by many as the cause of the present trouble there. Without studying the issue in detail and without consulting any leader from the state, the Congress had made the declaration. It was assumed at that point of time that the Congress High Command was supreme and no one will dare to defy its wishes. But politicians whether in the Congress or otherwise also look for their survival first. In this instance, they know that if they do not react as per their survival instincts they will be doomed. In addition, creation of Telangana could also lead to change of demographics in the new state and also have possible implications for internal security.
There is also a great deal of double speak so far as national leaders go. Mayawati wants UP to be divided into five states and backs Telangana. Congress does not wish UP to be divided but is cagey on Telangana now. Sharad Pawar wants Telangana but rules out creation of Vidharbha from Maharashtra. Mulayam Singh is against division of UP but for Telangana. The BJP has no evolved view but some of its leaders are backing Telangana whose creation may be ultimately opposed by the RSS in all probability.
Finally, the issue has to be properly looked into and resolved. Unless the Centre wants to be on a suicide wish and lose its governments in Andhra and at the Centre.