Telangana Issue: Analysts Speak ahead of Protest against Govt Decision in Andhra

Following announcement by the Centre yesterday night to concede Telanagana state, various responses have been emerging on it. Some of them are as follows:

A Congress MP was quoted by media as saying: “I’m in shock and awe. What was the need for blinking. Soniaji’s birthday gift to Telangana on her birthday will destroy the party in Andhra Pradesh. It’s like shooting yourself on the foot. I don’t think a resolution for creation of Telangana state can be passed in the AP assembly. MLAs will resign rather than be a party to this decision.”

“There will be revolt in the Congress in the Andhra region and in Telangana, K Chandrasekhar Rao will take the political advantage of Telangana. Don’t forget he joined Advani’s rally in Amritsar even before the election results were announced. So what do we gain?”

A revolt in the Congress party has already broken out with the MP from Vijayawada, Lagdapati Rajagopal who has always been anti-Telangana having submitted his resignation from the Lok Sabha. Later in the day two more Congress MPs from coastal Andhra and two more from Rayalaseema are expected to quit their Lok Sabha seat in protest. About 50 Congress MLAs – nearly one third of the Congress’s strength in the assembly will also quit the assembly later in the day and one minister has already done so in the morning.

Analysts say that they would have no choice, their constituents will lynch them if they do not oppose Telangana tooth and nail. Even TDP MLAs are expected to follow suit. Though there has been a popular demand for a separate state of Telangana in the region in the rest of the state there has been equal opposition to the idea.

“This is one state speaking one language. States in India were formed on linguistic basis so why does anybody want to break up a Telugu speaking state? Why don’t they break up a Marathi speaking state or a Kannada speaking state. This is a conspiracy against the prosperous and rapidly developing state of Andhra Pradesh,” asked Harish D, an incensed student from Vishakapatnam?

Reports said that large scale protest rallies are being planned in the coastal Andhra region.

Political analysts point out that the sudden reaction of the Congress high command was to prempt the possibility of large scale violence breaking out in the streets of Hyderabad during the course of the Chalo Assembly rally that was slated for Thursday. Though there was massive police bandabost, intelligence reports had suggested that extreme left ultras and goondas from the badlands of Rayalaseema had infiltrated the ranks of agitators and that they could create disturbances.

“This would force the police to open fire in which lives would be lost. Ultimately this was the perception that made the high command agree to Telangana. But Andhra Pradesh chief minister K Rosaiah who is more in touch with the realities on the ground opposed the move tooth and nail. But he was over ridden,” said reports.

Analysts said that though the demand for Telangana was fast acquiring the hue of a backward class movement, the sane way would have been to co-opt them into the political process.

“The tragedy of Andhra Pradesh is that it is a bipolar polity with two main parties – the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party. Both of them represent higher caste interests viz that of Reddys and Kammas. The interest of the backward castes is represented nowhere. Chiranjeevi tried to form a backward caste party through Prajarajyam but it is yet to be a formidable force,” a political analyst said.

Major trouble is expected to ensue about the future of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, which is technically in the Telangana region.

“In the past Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have also been divided. But never was the fate of Patna, Bhopal or Lucknow in contention. Here the state capital will be part of the breakaway state. This is a totally new situation,” a political analyst said.

What is going to further complicate the matter now is the fact that people from rest of Andhra have made huge investments in Hyderabad and made their city their home. They will be apprehensive about their well being in the new state. Yet they would not be able to go back because they have moved lock stock and barrel to Hyderabad.

“Yet you cannot deny Hyderabad to Telangana because Telangana will be nothing without Hyderabad. It will be like offering mutton biryani to a hungry man and telling him that you can eat the rice but not the mutton,” an analyst pointed out.

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