TELANGANA ON BACK BURNER
The Manmohan Singh government’s assertion that there can be no forward movement on statehood for Telangana until the Andhra Assembly passes a resolution supporting the state’s bifurcation should set at rest any fears that the issue would be bulldozed through. Clearly, so long as legislators from Telangana are not joined by a substantial number from the rest of the state to cobble up a majority in the assembly, the carving out of a new state is ruled out. With the winter session of the state assembly having been adjourned sine die on Monday, well ahead of its scheduled December 23 date, and resignations of 138 legislators lying with the Speaker in protest against the Centre’s in-principle decision to work towards statehood for Telangana, the issue will doubtlessly remain in cold storage for now. Consequently, politicians who had raised the pitch in West Bengal for a separate Gorkhaland, in Maharashtra for Vidarbha, in U.P. for Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand and Purvanchal, besides similar demands in other parts of the country, using Telangana as a convenient pretext, would now be deprived of that prop.In Andhra, the supporters of Jaganmohan Reddy, son of the late chief minister Rajsekhar Reddy had been nursing a grouse against their leader not being allowed to succeed his illustrious father. Their acceptance of K. Rosaiah as chief minister was forced and half-hearted. The Telangana issue had given them an opportunity to settle scores with Mr Rosaiah and through him with the party high command. It would require deft handling to restore a modicum of unity in the party. Other political parties are equally divided along predictable regional lines.
While it is but fair that there be no further movement on the Telangana issue until an assembly resolution is passed, it is time that politicians stop fanning the embers of hatred. Andhra Pradesh has frittered away a full session of the assembly with no business transacted. Losses from work stoppages have also been on a massive scale. Neither Andhra nor West Bengal’s Darjeeling region, nor Maharashtra or UP can afford disruption of economic activity in these difficult times. It is indeed vital that sanity prevails.
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