Five Decades Political Drama of Telangana Separate State మే 31, 2013Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhrapreneurship, compromise, Congress, elections, TDP, Telangana, TRS.
Telangana issue always led by politics
Ch. V.M. Krishna Rao, Deccan Chronicle, 31 May 2103
Hyderabad: Though the issue of granting separate statehood to the Telangana region has been on the cards for over five decades, successive Union governments have ignored it. Almost all parties, except CPM, have declared their sympathy and respect for the sentiments of separate statehood, but none has done more than pay lip service to the cause.
Before the formation of AP State in 1956, though the demand for a separate Telangana was recommended by the First States Reorganisation Commission headed by Fazal Ali, it was ignored and the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ultimately decided on the creation of Andhra Pradesh based on the linguistic states formula. The Gentleman’s Agreement entered into had agreed to address regional issues, only to ignore them later.
There was no movement for Telangana state from 1956 to 1969. It was during Kasu Brahmananda Reddy’s regime that the movement took a violent turn. Scores of T-supporters were gunned down in police firings. Dr Marri Chenna Reddy started the Telangana Praja Samiti and bagged 10 LS seats. Several stalwarts in Congress lost the elections in the 1971.
The then PM Indira Gandhi only replaced CM Brahmananda Reddy with P.V. Narasimha Rao. Another Gentleman’s Agreement was arrived at, and Gandhi forced Chenna Reddy to merge his TPS with Congress.
In the 1972 Assembly elections, Congress got a record number of seats. From 1973 to 2001, Telangana was not a major issue. In 2001, K. Chandrasekhar Rao quit the Telugu Desam and started the TRS. In the immediate local body elections, KCR won a good number of ZPTC and MPTC seats. This prompted the Congress, then in Opposition, to have an alliance with the TRS for the 2004 general election.
The Congress won the 2004 election, and the TRS joined the government both in the state and at the Centre. But UPA-1 failed to address the Telangana issue as promised. TRS walked away. Since then, the TRS has been building momentum for the Telangana cause. But it failed in the May 2008 by-polls.
The BJP also started to take advantage of the Telangana movement. In 1998, at the Kakinada Convention, it resolved to fight for a separate state and decided to campaign in the polls for ‘one vote-two states’. But when the NDA government came to power in 1999, it had seat adjustments with TD and NDA never talked of its promise of dividing the state.
But it was the TD that took a U-turn on Telangana in 2008. It canvassed against Telangana in the 2004 polls, but later announced that it is for creation of T-state. Based on its changed policy TRS chief KCR had an electoral pact with the TD along with the CPI to form an alliance. But the alliance could not prevail and the YSR-led Congress returned to power in 2009. Till September 2, 2009, the day YSR died, there was no T-movement.
After YSR’s death, the demand picked momentum. The TRS chief went on an indefinite fast on November 29, 2009 and there was violence. K. Rosaiah, the them CM, called for an all-party meet on December 7, 2009, where all parties except Congress said they were in favour of a separate state.
Home minister P. Chidambaram made an announcement on midnight of December 9, stating that the Centre has initiated the process for formation of separate T-state. On December 10, Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee made statements to this effect in both Houses of Parliament.
But at the state level, the government could not bring the resolution before the Assembly because the MLAs were divided. This forced Chidambaram to change his statement. On December 23 he announced the Centre’s intention to have more consultations. Subsequently, the Justice Srikrishna Committee was constituted in 2010.
It submitted its report on December 31, 2010. It only laid out six options and stressed on only one option — continuing with united AP with some statutory rights for the T-region. The issue remains unsettled since then with the Centre promising to announce a decision at an undisclosed time.