Centre hits a wall on Telangana జనవరి 6, 2010Posted by Telangana Utsav in agitation, Andhra, BJP, compromise, Congress, CPI, CPI-M, Identity, MIM, politics, PRP, Rayalaseema, regionalism, struggle, students, TDP, Telangana, TRS, universities.
Centre hits a wall on Telangana
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi Jan 6, 2010
Free-for-all at eight-party meet
The sharp political divide in Hyderabad over Telangana was on full display in Delhi on Tuesday with squabbling leaders and warring parties derailing all attempts to prepare a roadmap for creation of a separate State.
There was little hope that the all-party meeting, convened by the Home Ministry to develop a consensus between protagonists for and opposed to Telangana, would achieve any breakthrough. With the Centre not ready with any concrete offer, the eight political parties which attended the meet refused to shift from their respective positions. Interestingly, the Congress MPs openly fought in the meeting, and so did TDP leaders.
As the marathon meeting turned into an exercise in futility, Home Minister P Chidambaram indicated he would consult the Prime Minister and Cabinet colleagues and then take a call on future course of action.
The meeting lasted for four hours with members of eight parties expressing their views. The Home Minister tried to set the tone of the meeting with his opening remarks appealing for peace and normalcy in the State.
With the threat of Maoist activities weighing on his mind, the Home Minister said, “It is in the interest of all sections of the people of Andhra Pradesh that peace and harmony prevail while the consultations take place. I wish to caution all political parties that there are forces waiting in the wings who ridicule the parliamentary form of democracy and who would be happy if we collectively fail to find answers to the issues that concern us, and we should not give any room for these forces to gain strength or credence.”
While the BJP termed the meeting as “100 per cent failure”, Chiranjeevi of the Praja Rajyam Party called it “not fully satisfactory”. Even the TDP, which like the Congress, has been internally divided over the issue also said the meeting “was not at all fruitful”.
The differences in the Congress came out in the open with MP KS Rao and MLA Uttam Kumar Reddy, representing two divergent views, entering into a verbal squabble in the meeting.
The BJP completely ruled out any possibility of future consultations. Senior leader Bandaru Dattatreya said, “It is important for the Government and the Congress to come out with their opinions. We asked the Home Minister what is the Government’s view on the mechanism. He did not answer. The UPA is itself not clear about its views on the issue.”
Protagonists of separate Telangana K Chandrasekhar Rao of TRS and Dattareya demanded that the Centre take immediate steps for formation of the new State, while Praja Rajyam chief Chiranjeevi made it clear that his party was for a united Andhra Pradesh.
Echoing similar sentiments, TDP leader Y Ramakrishnudu said, “We asked the Home Minister to clarify the stand of the Government. But he did not say a word on it.” The TDP blamed the Union Government for creating confusion in the State. Even Chiranjeevi’s PRP said that there was a need for a time-bound mechanism to be put in place. There were severe differences amongst the parties and even between members of same political party.
Home Minister P Chidambaram admitted as much when he said it was quiet clear that parties were divided on the issue. “It appears to me that no one is opposed to further consultations with other groups and stakeholders. Should such consultations become necessary, they were keen that it should be concluded within a reasonable time-frame,” he said.
Chidambaram said he told the leaders that he would take these views to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his senior Cabinet colleagues and “I will come up with a decision or a statement of the Government.”
The only thing the parties seemed to agree on was maintenance of peace and harmony in the region. Both MIM and PRP emphasised the need for imposition of President’s rule. MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said, “We emphasised that Muslims are also a part of the dispute. But first the Centre has to spell out its mechanism for consensus. Right now the prime need is to maintain law and order. For this, there is a need for imposition of President’s rule as there is complete failure of law and order machinery in the State.”