Telangana impasse – DNA జూన్ 2, 2013Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Congress, elections, regionalism, Telangana.
DNA, editorial, Jun 1, 2013
The Congress’s disastrous one step forward, two steps back policy on Telangana is unravelling. Senior Congress leader K Keshava Rao, along with three other MPs from Andhra Pradesh, are now planning to quit the party, protesting its continued dithering over granting Telangana statehood. The disgruntled MPs have openly accused their party of “not responding” to their long standing call, which has caught the imagination of large numbers of people in the state. Their move has serious political implications for the embattled Congress in the forthcoming general elections less than a year from now.
In the 2009 general elections, Andhra Pradesh had beefed up the strength of the Congress in the Lok Sabha by contributing as many as 33 seats to the party kitty. The political context has since drastically changed. The Congress today stands on a weak wicket in this important southern state. From all indications on the ground, the YSR Congress party headed by the jailed Jagan Reddy, has the advantage in the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, while the TRS has the support of people in the Telangana region. Not so long ago, the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh was grappling hard with an emotive popular movement, with a cross section of people plunging headlong into it.
One reason for the large-scale disaffection with the party is its nebulous stand on Telangana. After agreeing to a separate state, aiding the Congress in notching up its electoral tallies both in the state and at the centre, the Congress swiftly reneged on its pledge. Employing diversionary tactics, the party kept the issue burning even as it continued to lose its popular support in the state. Precious time has already been lost.
The Congress must, without further delay, come clean on Telangana and take a forthright stand. At a broader level, the UPA government must expedite the second states reorganisation committee in order to frame an adequate response on smaller states.