By: J R Janumpalli
Congress party has stoked the fire from the smoldering embers of the past for Telangana state in 2004 for coming in to Power. Once coming in to power, it tried to contain the raging fire, indulging in most unscrupulous politics. But to its chagrin, the embers erupted in to a burning conflagration and forced the party to make a declaration for the initiation of the formation of Telangana state, on 9 December, 2009 in the Parliament.
That declaration was a watershed in the 6 decade long struggle for Telangana state. It used most unprincipled political methods in the last 3 1/2 of years in dodging the implementation of the declaration. But as the providence will have it, at last the retribution has caught up with the party and Telangana imbroglio has created an elephantine political mess for it in the state.
Now as the general elections and the possibility of its total rout in both the regions of the state are staring in to its face, it has now brought the issue in to its climactic stage promising a solution. Yet, true to its hypocritical mindset, it has not made up its mind unequivocally to solve it to its logical end as per the genuine aspirations of Telangana people. Even at this moment, it is still toying with some ideas to please Andhra political class – the eternal scourge of Telangana.
After all the promises, betrayal and repression on Telangana people during the last 57 years, the credibility of Congress party in the region is at its lowest ebb. The exposure of the graphic details of the systematic, organized exploitation of Telangana resources in all walks of life by the majority Andhra government all these years does not leave any justification or scope for keeping the state united.
Congress was the root cause for the ill-fated merger of the state. It has acquiesced the violations of myriad original and modified agreements and safeguards to Telangana people by Andhras with a callous indifference and fostered the discrimination since the merger in 1956. Now if it has to come out of the spiteful political mess created for itself by its commissions and omissions, it has to demerge Telangana with its ten districts with Hyderabad as its sole capital. Any departure from this to accommodate the deceitful desires of Andhras or for its self-centered political ends will create a permanent antagonism to it in Telangana region.
Congress party’s attempt to abort a declaration made in the parliament or to micromanage it has severely eroded the credibility of the party. The attempt has its impact not only in Telangana but also in Seemandhra region. There also certain sections of electorate have understood the problem of Telangana and the importance of a capital for themselves and a separate Andhra state for their development. At national level also the genuine demand of Telangana statehood has caught the attention of several political parties and public at large. This political dishonesty of Congress party can have repercussions for it not only in the state but also elsewhere in India.
Congress party’s never ending and shifting bizarre options for Telangana smack of a detestable skullduggery. Its proposal to add some Rayalaseema districts to Telangana is a very prosaic political decision fraught with creating a pestering problem for each of the two new states. It can neither please Telangana nor Rayalaseema people. To solve one problem it will create two problems of similar nature. It will be an ill-conceived scheme for short term political gains and certainly will not give the desired political dividends to Congress Party. It would be another historical blunder akin to the merger of Telangana with Andhra knowing fully well the consequences of it. The proposals of financial package, development board etc. are all hog wash. They will never work. The notorious selfishness of Seemandhra majority in making every single agreement and safeguard provided earlier dysfunctional is a testimony to it. Their concern for irrigation water, safeguards for Seemandhras etc. is a total ‘bakwas’and a made up filibuster. It is like the wolf and lamb kid story.
If Congress demerges Telangana in its pristine form it will gain a predictable political advantage in the region. Many of its sins to Telangana will be forgotten. With TRS alliance/merger 15 – 16 MP seats can be gained without any difficulty. It can also help to certain extent in Andhra region also. All the political surveys are predicting 12-15 seats to TRS. If Congress aborts Telangana declaration it can be sure it won’t get even a single MP seat on its own in the region. For Congress party’s present stratagem of getting at least 50 seats in south India, these 15 seats can be a great help. If Congress does not grant Telangana, it is certain that there will be a hung assembly next in A.P. TRS will emerge as a formidable force making the incumbent government horse de combat till Telangana state is formed. Congress will be completely decimated in Telangana and will be in its death throes in Andhra region unless it manages to have a truck with YSRCP.
If Congress plays spoilsport with adding some kinks to Telangana state or giving some unusual safeguards which were not given in any division of other new states in the country and creating some specious accommodation to Andhras in Hyderabad city that would be its ‘waterloo’ in Telangana. If Congress continues any of its evading tactics also at this stage it will be construed as treason again. The party will not get the political advantage it is trying to gain and will be 15 seats less in its campaign for coming to power again. It can be completely wiped out from the region for a very long time to come like in Tamilnadu. On the other hand if it grants Telangana it can be a lifeline and can lend some political credence in the state and in some other places in India.
It is time for Congress party to understand the unjustifiable and motivated obduracy of Andhras in blocking demerger. They should come out of their smokescreen on Telangana to take an unbiased and statesman like decision to liberate Telangana from the oppression of Seemandhra majority rule in a democracy. Monsoon session of Parliament is absolutely the last chance for Congress Party to reclaim its position in Telangana.