Telangana – inaction is no option for the Centre మార్చి 2, 2011Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in agitation, Andhra, bandh, BJP, compromise, Congress, CPI, elections, fast, heritage, Hyderabad, Identity, JAC, Jai Andhra, KCR, MIM, Mulki, Osmania, Parliament, Polavaram, politics, regionalism, Settler, suicide, TDP, Telangana, TRS, universities, violence, Y S Jagan.
Tags: blackmail, Srikrishna
Editorial, The Indian Express, 2 March 2011
The political play over Telangana displays certain odd, disturbing tendencies. The situation that compelled the setting up of the Srikrishna Committee — tactical as well as violent aggression on the streets of Andhra to put pressure on the Centre — is now slowly returning to the state, almost two months after the panel had made its recommendations on the feasibility of a separate state of Telangana. It should now be clear that the Centre cannot allow the situation to drift. Having given the appearance of caving in to the TRS’s passive-aggressive tactics in December 2009, and thereby provoking anxiety in other parts of the state, it has to now reclaim the middle ground by using the committee’s very useful blueprint for negotiations with different strands of opinion.
The committee has laid out six available options, including the status quo, a united Andhra with an empowered Telangana council and a separate state of Telangana. It does not presume to decisively privilege one option over the others, and provides a wealth of detail in investigating different scenarios. Moving forward — towards a new administrative set-up, a new state, or simply restoring normalcy within the status quo — is a political project. The Telangana movement has a long history, and its political nature has changed over time. The Congress, which has a majority in the Andhra Pradesh assembly and which also has a majority of the MPs in Lok Sabha from the state, is obviously wary of doing anything that could precipitate a divide within its legislature party. But given the adjournments forced by its MPs in Lok Sabha last week on the subject, which seemed to take party leaders by surprise, inaction too cannot be an option.
It is crucial to establish order and stability and not let parts of the state descend into yet another cycle of violence. The Centre had said that it would look into the issue after the Union budget was presented. Home Minister P. Chidambaram has also stated that the government is studying the Srikrishna panel’s report and will convene a meeting of parties from Andhra Pradesh on the Telangana issue only when all of them are ready to give their views. The process should begin at the earliest. All the stakeholders should show a maturity to resolve the issue and in the meantime refrain from holding the state hostage to political blackmail