By JR Janumpalli
(The author is a retired government official and Telangana activist)
Telangana got its political freedom in a fractious struggle with the Centre and its other counterparts. It was expected that the political parties in the State would be more altruistic in the firming up of the new State. Yet, the politics that developed in its maiden term in Telangana was not very savoury. Now as the result of the State government dissolving its Assembly and opting for an early election, the testy politics in Telangana has come to a boil and turned interesting.
In the last election, all the major parties in Telangana claimed credit for State formation. But, people gave a mandate to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) with just enough majority. It made the disgruntled opposition parties take a very hostile stance against the ruling TRS. The initial overtures of the TRS for cooperation were spurned. The Congress felt a proprietary right on the new State as the party gave the State and called the TRS an upstart.
The TJAC said it was instrumental in getting T-State but the TRS stole the credit. The BJP claimed that without their support in Parliament, Telangana would not have been a reality. The TDP said its December 7 letter gave Telangana its State. In the conceit of their self- importance, they have forgotten the very purpose of the State and started to oppose the Telangana government ad nauseam without any regard to their own responsibility in strengthening the new State.
On and Off Opposition
The TJAC went hammer and tongs against the TRS government from the beginning. It joined hands with Congress and Communists on and off to oppose every move of the government. It differed with the government’s development model and was crying hoarse for an alternative plan. But in the last four years, it could not muster up any such plan. Meanwhile, it has lost many of its associate societies and has formed a political party – TJS – outside of it as its adjunct.
The Congress along with TJAC was opposing indiscriminately everything the Telangana government was doing. The BJP was doing the same from the sidelines. The TDP was busy undermining the TRS in its efforts of consolidation of the State. It even went to the extent of destabilising the government as the infamous ‘vote for the cash’ case revealed.
It is like the story of the proverbial fly forgetting its name flustering the floor on a festival day. These opposition parties in their disappointment of not getting into the political power structure, have forgotten the very essence of the new State – its sovereign entity in terms of the AP Reorganisation Act.
While the maiden Telangana government was grappling with it, these opposition parties did not lend any support to it. There are several issues lingering. Division of employees and institutions, river waters, power dues, high court, etc and establishing a few new institutions awarded in the Act.
They berated the State government for spending money on big projects instead of helping it get deserving aid from the Centre. There can be good and bad in the acts of government. But there is a need for criticism based on merit. But here, it is everything bad for them without exception. That does not make any democratic sense.
On top of it, it is now the Congress, TDP, TJS and the CPI’s grand alliance for the next elections. It is not unusual for such alliances in the country nowadays. But, here it is very unnatural, considering the background of the new State and the roles played by these parties in its formation.
The Congress played an unconscionable callous game with the Telangana declaration for more than four years at the behest of the TDP and its own Andhra unit. The T-Congress was reduced to a helpless onlooker, lacking the gumption to force the issue. The TJAC though worked for Telangana along with the TRS, inexplicably baulked at the last moment. It declared itself neutral and almost handed over a hung Assembly for the new State. And after the elections, it behaved like the main opposition to the TRS from outside the Assembly.
The treacherous role of the TDP and its chief in Telangana formation is common knowledge. He stopped it for four years and caused the death of about 1,200 Telangana people. Now, he is creating all kinds of troubles in the implementation of APRA related to Telangana. He tried to unsettle the Telangana government in this Assembly and is trying to sneak into it this time via this alliance to create more trouble.
His antagonism to Telangana and his negatively manipulating politics can be the sword of Damocles hanging on the head of Telangana if he gains some strength in its Assembly. The TDP is a party with Andhra ethos in every facet of it. Its place is in Andhra and it has lost its raison d’etre in Telangana.
TJS Hopelessly Hypocritical
The most absurd feature of the alliance is the TJS (Telangana Jana Samithi) with its probable 3-5 seat partnership trying to impose Telangana martyr-centric common minimum programme on the alliance. It is hopelessly hypocritical.
The T-Congress and the TJS can make an alliance with any party with the soul and spirit of Telangana or they can contest on their own. They can win political power if they have a better agenda than the TRS and if Telangana people vote for it. At present, for Telangana, it is more important to get all the provisions of APRA implemented and get rid of the Andhra colonial hangover. But not by a partnership with them. It will not work.
The very antithesis to the Telangana State, the Telugu Desam in the ruling dispensation can be an anticlimactic letdown. It will be a mockery of the martyrdom of hundreds of youth. The people of Telangana should not allow it to happen.
Source: Telangana Today