Is Telangana the result of Congress fears?
It has become increasingly clear that the UPA government in general and the Congress party in particular have announced the formation of a separate state of Telangana essentially out of fear of losing Andhra Pradesh during the next Lok Sabha elections.
The state was primarily responsible for bringing the Congress to power both in 2004 and 2009 with late YS Rajasekhar Reddy making his huge contribution to the results.
However, after his tragic demise in an air crash, the party was unsure on whether it would be able to retain its hold over the entire state and in a dramatic announcement on Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s birthday on December 9, 2009, the proposal to create a separate state was put in the public domain.
In the years that followed, a lot seems to have changed at the ground level with YSR’s son Jaganmohan and family leaving the grand old party and forming their own political outfit.
The manner and the circumstances leading to the parting of ways had created a big sympathy wave for Jaganmohan who was subsequently arrested in a disproptionate case and sent to jail more than a year ago.
The Congress was always worried that its vote share and a large chunk of votes may go towards his party and therefore the only way of preventing a complete rout in the state was to create another region with 17 Lok Sabha seats.
This way, the party could hold on to many of its seats in the newly created state and thus not be a complete loser in its biggest stronghold. It is to be seen if the Congress calculation proves right.
The contentious decision on whether to bite the bullet on Telangana was taken on Tuesday thus paving a difficult and unstable period both in the affected regions and the country as a whole.
It is a case where the Congress has delivered a Breech Baby, which has its Umbilical Cord, tied around its neck. The danger is that the Cord could strangulate the child or cause serious complications for the mother.
The result is that for the next few months, both the child and the mother will be in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) battling for survival.
It is still unclear whether the formation of the state will bring political dividends for the party or lead to the creation of many other complex problems for the state and the country.
The party High Command as well as the UPA have taken into account all the dimensions of various kinds of fall outs, but the security establishments do not seem to be very happy with the decision.
Some in the BJP are elated as the Saffron party supporters feel that since the new state will have a sizable number of Muslims, the move could lead to polarization in some areas and thus give the BJP a base in the new State.
There are so many other issues, which will need to be carefully monitored to ensure that this act out of political expediency does not have too many negative repercussions.
The demand for some more new and smaller states has already gained momentum with BSP superemo demanding a four-way division of Uttar Pradesh and supporters of Gorkhaland and Vidharbha also making their voices shriller.
The implementation is going to be a difficult process and the announcement is certainly going to lead to new political alignments as also many resignations.
One can only wait and watch how the decision perhaps taken keeping just one election in mind unfolds.