Kiran Reddy Resigns As AP CM; Also Quits Congress Over Bifurcation

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The bill to carve out Telangana, the 29th state, by splitting Andhra Pradesh was yesterday passed by the Lok Sabha with Congress and BJP coming together on the issue

Kiran-300x210Hyderabad, Feb 19: Chief Minister N today resigned from his post as well as the Congress protesting the manner in which the state was being divided “by throwing all norms to the wind” and lashed out at political parties for dividing the state in quest of “votes”.

Soon after announcing his decision to quit, Kiran drove straight to the Raj Bhavan and handed over his resignation letter to Governor E S L Narasimhan. The chief minister also resigned as MLA.

“I have requested the Governor to make alternative arrangements at the earliest as I have no inclination to continue even as a caretaker,” Kiran said.

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Historic Telangana Bill Passed By Lok Sabha Amid Din, Protests

A scene in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo
A scene in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo

A historic bill to carve out Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh was today passed by Lok Sabha amid din and strong protests by members from Seemandhra region, including ministers.

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 was adopted by voice vote along with several official amendments, with main opposition BJP coming on board.

Moving the bill for consideration and passage, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the Centre will give special financial package to Seemandhra, residual part of Andhra Pradesh, to address the grievances of the people of that region.

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The Fissures Run Deeper

Sonia Gandhi has already been christened as ‘Mother Telangana’. But the bifurcation is no closer to reality. G Vishnu reports

Next Gen Student leaders are now eyeing tickets for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls , Photo: AFP
Next Gen Student leaders are now eyeing tickets for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, Photo: AFP

For Hyderabadis, depending on their views on the formation of Telangana, the new year has come bearing the promise of triumph for some and trepidation for others. The political atmosphere in Andhra Pradesh, which slipped into a state of chaos after the Congress announced the carving out of a separate state last year, has entered its final stages of tumult as the country moves towards a high-voltage Lok Sabha election campaign. Even as a strong anti-corruption mood determined the election results to the Delhi Assembly, undivided Andhra Pradesh seems to be going to polls with a single question mark: to split or not.

The previous year saw a deep fissure form between various parties in the state Assembly — dividing them on the lines of pro- and anti-bifurcation. That has not meant the parties have not been practical enough to gauge the spoils coming their way in the post-bifurcation scenario. The Congress itself has gone into a damage control mode with its various tentacles tending to the wounds within the deeply divided party. Whereas there is anticipation of a complete sweep in Telangana, the party is preparing to be decimated in the residual Andhra Pradesh with its own Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy being on the verge of quitting the party.

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Doublespeak And Manufactured Rage?

The counter agitation for a united Andhra Pradesh pushes the state to the brink of anarchy, reports G Vishnu

telangaIn the past couple of months, a previously unheard of movement has been gathering force in Andhra Pradesh. Telangana agitators rejoiced after the UPA government’s announcement that the region would be carved out of Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of India. Soon, a largely apolitical counter movement for Samaikyandhra — a United AP — started gaining currency, in which employees of the government and private sectors started protesting the formation of a separate state.

This soon changed. Government and private employees were joined by cadres of parties, including the Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and a section of the Congress, in their campaign against the division.

On 3 October, the Union Cabinet prepared a note on Telangana, stating that Hyderabad was to be the capital of the newly formed state. The prospect of division and losing Hyderabad sent shockwaves across the Seemandhra (residual Andhra Pradesh) region, unleashing chaos on a scale, which neither the Union government nor the state Congress anticipated. Power cuts for days on end, a complete breakdown of the transport system with several trains being cancelled and hospitals with dysfunctional ICUs have all pushed the state to the brink of collapse.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Digvijaya Singh is misrepresenting facts: Jagan Reddy

In the middle of Jaganmohan Reddy’s fast against the formation of Telangana, G Vishnu caught up with the YSR Congress chief in Hyderabad just before he was taken to hospital.

PODCAST In the backdrop of Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh’s recent statement that Yuvajana Sramika Rythu (YSR) Congress Party chief Jaganmohan Reddy had written a letter supporting the Telangana decision, Tehelka Correspondent G Vishnu talks to Reddy in Hyderabad who has been sitting on a fast against the state’s bifurcation

Digvijaya Singh has put out a letter you wrote in 2011, where you have stated that you respect the people’s sentiments and are okay with the creation of . Why are you then now fasting against that very decision?
These are tactics of lies, bulldozing and creating a false consensus. We have written three or four letters to the prime minister and to the home minister where we have clearly stated that all we want is a solution acceptable to everybody without injustice to any one, in a fair, just and equitable manner. That was what we said in the first letter. Digvijaya Singh tried to bulldoze his opinion even then. So we again wrote to the prime minister and home minister, twice, to stop bifurcation. Three parties in Andhra Pradesh are against the bifurcation — , the CPM and the MIM — and that is clearly not a consensus to go ahead.

We have also said in that letter that Digvijaya Singh is misrepresenting facts. Usually before a Cabinet note, the Assembly resolution is taken into consideration. It is only then that the bifurcation process starts. In this case, you are leaving aside states where the Assemblies have passed resolutions in favour of bifurcation, like in the cases of Uttar Pradesh and Vidarbha and are coming to Andhra Pradesh where there is no consensus. In any case, how can anybody say that when 60 percent of the people go on a strike, it is acceptable to everyone?

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The Politics Behind The Jagan-Naidu Fasts

K Sreenivas Reddy, former Secretary-General of IJU, on Jagan Mohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu’s fast following the Telangana decision

Jaganmohan Reddy (left) and Chandrababu Naidu. Photo: PTI

Following cabinet clearance on the formation of Telangana, both Jagan Mohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu went on a hunger strike. While Jagan has accused Naidu of being hand in glove with the Congress, Naidu says that it is actually Jagan who has got a secret understanding with the Congress, which is probably why he got out on bail. How do you view these political developments?

Both Jaganmohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu have taken a complete U-turn in this affair. Initially Jagan had taken a favourable stand on the bifurcation of the state but now he has taken an open stand for a united Andhra. And despite sharing a similar stand, Naidu has not openly said if he is for bifurcation or not. Till today, Naidu’s stand is only confined to the letter sent to the Government of India where he asked for the bifurcation of the state.

Jagan’s bail seems to have come at a time which gives him a window big enough to canvass for his party. What do you have to say on that?

I don’t think so. When Jagan approached the Supreme Court for his bail, the SC had asked the CBI how much time they needed to file the chargesheet. The CBI had then stated a duration of three months till September. But yet another extension was given after September. CBI had been given two extensions in fact. In my opinion, they should not take further time in filing the chargesheets.


PODCAST


As far as the politics of these fasts are concerned, what would this really lead to? And who would benefit the most politically?

Even before taking such a contradictory stance, Jagan had rallied people’s support against the Congress party in the state, particularly in the Andhra and Telangana area.  After taking this U-turn, the Telangana leaders resigned from their party and joined the regional parties. In terms of beneficiaries, Congress is at the third, pitiable position. The primary gainer is YSR Congress, followed by TDP. Both of them are fooling the people as far as the present crisis – splitting of the state – is concerned. At this point, both know that they have no strength to stop the bifurcation of the state. They can neither make the state government change its mind about the plan nor can they get the BJP to support this.

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“The Prevailing Political Compulsions Were Behind These Resignations”

Ashhar Khan, Tehelka’s Special Correspondent, talks on the resignation of the Congress ministers from Seemandhra region over the Telangana issue


Several central ministers from Seemandhra region have resigned to protest against the Union Cabinet’s decision to create a separate Telangana state. What is the latest information you have on this issue?

What we’ve been given to understand is that, Chiranjeevi (Tourism Minister), Pallam Raju, (HRD Minister) and KS Rao (Textile Minister) have sent their resignations to the Congress President and also to the Prime Minister, protesting the Cabinet’s decision which was taken last evening about the formation of a new state: Telangana. In fact, this has been done because of the political compulsions prevailing in their respective constituencies.

Sources say that this was communicated by these ministers to the senior leadership of the Congress party, that their position in the Union Cabinet and in the Council of Ministers will become untenable when such a decision has been taken, and that is exactly what has been done.

In fact, we saw when the Congress working committee came out with this decision, the Telangana Ministers were meeting several people all across the political spectrum of the Congress party. In fact, they met with very senior leaders of the Congress party trying to put their point across. But, today we have seen that when the decision has been formally taken by the Cabinet, they had no option, but to resign.

This was communicated, well in advance, to the Congress leadership and sources tell us that the Congress leadership has, in principle agreed to the decision which is being taken by these ministers due to political considerations. Now, we must understand that the Assembly Elections in Andhra Pradesh and the Lok Sabha Elections in Andhra Pradesh are just 6-8 months down the line, so, clearly all these leaders will also have to look at their own political constituencies.

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Why Is Hyderabad Important?

Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, Managing Editor of Urdu daily Siasat, talks about why Hyderabad remains the most important factor in the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the creation of the separate state of Telangana

Students celebrate in Hyderabad after cabinet approved the creation of the new state Telangana. PTI Photo
Students celebrate in Hyderabad after cabinet approved the creation of the new state Telangana. PTI Photo

The cabinet has approved the creation of the state of Telangana, with Hyderabad as the joint capital. Can you talk about the significance of Hyderabad to this region?
The Andhra, Rayalaseema area closest to Hyderabad is 22o km away. For the last 400 years, Hyderabad has been the capital of Telangana or Hyderabad state. It had nothing to do with Andhra and Rayalaseema for the last 400 years. There was no relationship between these two regions. They were under the British and we were under the Nizam. Hyderabad has never been part of the British Empire and it has always been independent. So there is no question of Hyderabad not being a part of Telangana. Hyderabad is like the heart of Telangana.


PODCAST


Besides the emotional link that people have with Hyderabad, can you elaborate on the economic and political importance of Hyderabad vis-à-vis Telangana and the rest of Andhra?
Hyderabad is the only city which is very well developed in Andhra Pradesh and it gets around 42 percent of the Andhra revenue. Hyderabad city, as you know, has a lot of Waqf property, and this has been exploited by Andhra politicians and businessmen. They don’t want to leave this real estate business. It is just a fight between the four crore people of Telangana and 200 families of Andhra billionaires, to be precise. They are trying to keep Telangana as a problematic issue.

Keeping economics aside, what is the political future of Hyderabad? What is the future for the various political parties- like the Congress, the Telugu Desam Party, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party – if Hyderabad remains a common capital following the formation of Telangana?
I’ll just give you a brief background of the equations in Telangana. Ninety-two percent of Telangana has people from the SC/ST, BC and minority community, and as of today, they don’t have any political say in Telangana. This has been concentrated between two families, the Reddy’s and the Kamma’s, for the last 60 years. However, both of them taken together don’t even account for 70 percent of the population of Andhra Pradesh.

When it comes to Telangana, the Reddys are 3 percent and the Velama are 0.5 percent, but they account for around 68 MLAs out of 190. There is a social engineering going on in Telangana which no one is trying to understand. There are just 26 MLAs of the BC community out of 190, whereas their population is 56 percent, so where is the political share for them? A huge churning is taking place which will turn the future of Telangana upside down. Infact, the 1000 boys who committed suicide were all from lower castes and the leadership of Telangana is all upper caste.

As far as MIM is concerned, it is controlled by one family and they don’t want to expand. Twenty MLAs of MIM could be Muslims, but they don’t want to share power with the general public. They want to share power with their own henchmen who are goons and who are land grabbers, whose job is to lend money. All these political parties – Congress, TRS, the Owaisis and the Reddys will be zeroed out of the Telangana politics in another 10 years.

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Union Cabinet clears Telangana; Hyderabad to be joint capital for 10 years

The Centre today took the first significant step towards creation of a separate Telangana state from out of Andhra Pradesh and decided that Hyderabad will be the joint capital of the two states for 10 years.

Over two months after the Congress Working Committee put its seal of approval, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal of the Home Ministry for creation of the 29th state and decided to set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to work out modalities.

“The Cabinet has given its approval for the creation of a new state of Telangana,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters after the meeting that lasted more than two hours.


PODCAST


He said it was decided that Hyderabad will be the common capital of the two bifucated states for 10 years.

After the creation of the new state, the security and guarantees including fundamental rights of the people of coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana will be ensured, he said.

The Cabinet approved a GoM that will go into the issue of a special financial disbursement that may be required from the central government for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, for building its capital and to cater to special needs of the backward regions.

The new state will have a geographical area of 10 of the 23 districts of undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Today’s decision brings to fruition the announcement made by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9, 2009 for creation of Telangana.

The Cabinet took the momentous decision despite stiff opposition from within Congress leaders from Seemandhra region, including Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and Union Ministers and MPs.

Some of them even threatened to quit.

Ever since the CWC took the decision, there have been agitations against the bifurcation in the Seemandhra region.

In a bid to assuage feelings in the Seemandhra region, the Congress set up a committee headed by Defence Minister A K Antony to look into the grievances.

“The Cabinet has approved a Group of Ministers to determine an appropriate mechanism to ensure legal and administrative measures for both the successive states of the government to function from the common capital of Hyderabad for 10 years and to ensure safety and security of the residents of all three regions — Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana, including guarantees of their fundamental rights.

“The Cabinet also approved.. further sought from the GoM to determine a special financial disbursement that may be required from the central government revenues that would be available to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh for the formation of new capital and to meet the special needs of backward region of the state,” Shinde said.

The districts that are to be part of the new state will be Adilabad, Karimnagar, Khammam, Mahaboobnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy and Warangal besides Hyderabad.

The Cabinet decision was on the lines of the July 30 CWC resolution which said, “It is resolved to request the Central government to take steps in accordance with the Constitution to form a separate state of Telangana ……within a definite timeframe.

The CWC had also decided to recommend to the government that Hyderabad be made the joint capital of the newly-proposed state and the other regions–Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra–for a period of 10 years.

The momentous CWC decision came after hectic consultations, which involved consultations with UPA allies also.


The movement for Telangana state: A brief chronology

[Timeline year=”1948,1950,1952,1953,1955,1956,1969,1972,1973,1985,1999,2001,2004,2006,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013″]

[timeline-content year=”1948″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Charminar1.jpg” ]
17 September:The erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad, which included the region known as Telangana, was merged with the Indian Union[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1950″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/MK-Vellodi.jpg” ]
26 January: The Central government appointed a civil servant, MK Vellodi, as the first chief minister of Hyderabad state[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1952″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Burgula_Ramakrishna_Rao_300-355×500.jpg” ]
Burgula Ramakrishna Rao became the first elected chief minister of Hyderabad[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1953″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Potti_Sreeramulu.jpg” ]
1 November: Andhra became the first state to be carved out on a linguistic basis, comprising the Telugu-speaking areas earlier under the erstwhile Madras state. Kurnool (in the Rayalaseema region) became the capital of Andhra after the death of Potti Sriramulu, who had sat on a 53-day fast-unto-death demanding the new state.

There was a proposal to merge the Hyderabad state with Andhra. The then chief minister of Hyderabad state, Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, supported the Congress central leadership’s decision in this regard, despite opposition in the Telangana region.[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1955″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/charminar.jpg” ]
25 November: Accepting the merger proposal, the Andhra Assembly passed a resolution promising to safeguard the interests of Telangana[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1956″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Burgula_Ramakrishna_Rao_300-355×500.jpg” ]
20 February: Leaders from Telangana and Andhra agreed to merge Telangana and Andhra with promises to safeguard Telangana’s interests. A “Gentlemen’s Agreement” was then signed by Bezawada Gopala Reddy and Burgula Ramakrishna Rao to that effect

1 November: Andhra Pradesh was formed under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, by merging the Telugu-speaking areas of Hyderabad state with Andhra. The city of Hyderabad, which was the capital of Hyderabad state, was made the capital of Andhra Pradesh[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1969″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/indira-gandhi-01.jpg” ]
An agitation began in Telangana region, with the people protesting against the failure to properly implement the Gentlemen’s Agreement and other safeguards. Marri Channa Reddy launched the Telangana Praja Samiti to demand a separate state. The agitation intensified and turned violent with students in the forefront of the struggle. Around 300 protesters were killed in the ensuing violence and police firing

12 April: Following several rounds of talks with leaders of the two regions, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi came up with an “eight-point plan”. Telangana leaders rejected the plan and protests continued under the aegis of Telangana Praja Samiti[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1972″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/charminar.jpg” ]
Jai Andhra movement started in the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions as a counter to the Telangana struggle[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1973″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Charminar1.jpg” ]
21 September: A political settlement was reached with the Centre and a 6-point formula put in place to placate people of the two regions[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1985″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/NTR-About.jpg” ]
Employees from Telangana cried foul over appointments in government departments and complained about ‘injustice’ done to the people of the region. The then Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government, headed by NT Rama Rao, brought out a government order to safeguard the interests of Telangana’s people in matters of government employment[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”1999″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/t-image.jpg” ]
The Congress demanded creation of Telangana state. Congress was then smarting under crushing defeats in successive elections to the state Assembly and Parliament with the ruling TDP in an unassailable position[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”2001″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/LKAdvani.jpg” ]
27 April: Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao, who was seething over denial of Cabinet berth in the Chandrababu Naidu government, walked out of the TDP and launched the Telangana Rashtra Samiti.

Following pressure applied by the Telangana Congress leaders, the Central Working Committee of the Congress sent a resolution to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government seeking constitution of a second States Reorganisation Commission to look into the demand for Telangana state. It was rejected by the then Union home minister LK Advani, who said smaller states were “neither viable nor conducive” to the integrity of the country
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[timeline-content year=”2004″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Telangana-Express1.jpg” ]
The Congress forged an electoral alliance with the TRS by promising to create Telangana state and came to power both in Andhra Pradesh and at the Centre. The TRS became its coalition partner in the state and at the Centre[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”2006″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/KCR2.jpg” ]
Protesting delay in carving out the separate state, the TRS quit the coalition governments in the state and at the Centre[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”2008″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Chandrababu.jpg” ]
October: The TDP changed its stance and declared support for bifurcation of the state[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”2009″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/suicide.jpg” ]
29 November: The TRS launched an indefinite hunger strike demanding the creation of Telangana state.

9 December: The Centre announced that it was “initiating the process for formation of Telangana state”.

23 December: The Centre announced that it was putting the Telangana issue on hold, leading to protests across Telangana. Some students committed suicide demanding the formation of Telangana state
[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”2010″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/justice-bn-krishna.jpg” ]
3 February: The Centre constituted a five-member committee, headed by former judge, Justice BN Srikrishna, to look into the statehood demand.

30 December: The Srikrishna Committee submitted its report to the Centre.
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[timeline-content year=”2011″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/stir1.jpg” ]
The Telangana region witnessed a series of agitations, including the Million March, Chalo Assembly and Sakalajanula Samme (general strike), even as MLAs belonging to different parties resigned[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”2012″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/pro-telangana.jpg” ]
28 December: With Congress MPs from Telangana upping the ante, the Union home ministry convened an all-party meeting to find an “amicable solution” to the crisis[/timeline-content]

[timeline-content year=”2013″ img=”http://www.tehelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/cwc.jpg” ]
30 July: CWC clears Telangana, Hyderabad to be joint capital for now

3 October: Cabinet clears formation of Telangana, Hyderabad to be joint capital for 10 years
[/timeline-content]
[/Timeline]


Also Read

The Great Telangana Gamble

State of euphoria Osmania University students take to the streets in Hyderabad to celebrate the decision granting statehood to Telangana. Photo: Harsha Vadlamani

At 6.45 pm on 30 July, the first shouts of celebration were heard in front of the University College of Arts and Social Sciences at Hyderabad’s Osmania University. Students who were glued to TV sets in their hostel began running towards the avenue in front of the college as soon as the decision to create a new  state was made public by the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the Congress, which leads the UPA coalition. Nearly 500 students, who owed their allegiance to the Congress and the , started bursting crackers, and throwing gulaal at each other, amid shouts of “Jai ”.

The  movement, which rode on the feelings of victimisation, discrimination, cultural differences and a strong ethno-nationalistic sentiment for the past 44 years, was finally close to fulfilment. However, the jubilation did not mask the reasoned cynicism of the students. The question almost everyone had on their minds was: Will things actually change?

“Sixty years of struggle. This is what we fought for,” said Krushank, a student leader of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of OU, struggling to catch his breath. MCA students Suman and Fatima, who were among the handful of girls at the gathering, were more cautious. “We are happy that we have a state. But we don’t know whether things will change on the ground. Political parties may benefit. But will things change in the society and Osmania?” they wondered. Perhaps, this scepticism of the grand narrative was the main reason why celebrations were muted in much of Hyderabad, a city that has been at the heart of the movement.

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Is Congress Prepared For The Telangana Fallout?

The party is probably unwittingly trading off an uncertain and small win for a certain and bigger loss

In a deft move, the  Party has declared that it is in favour of constituting a  state. Apparently, the leader of the ruling coalition expects to outmanoeuvre the  Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other political formations and win a good number of seats from the region. Perhaps the  strategists have decided that this was the only way of arresting the steep decline the party is likely to suffer in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The hype that was created around the decision-making process and the announcement by the  were all intended to generate as much political mileage as possible for the party. It is almost dressed as though a new state is born; that the  has ‘given’ a new state. But in fact, what happened was only a political party unable to make up its mind for years finally stating its position, one way or the other, on the issue. The only difference between the  decision and the decisions of other political parties is that now it is the leader of the ruling coalition. In fact, the 9 December 2009 statement by the then Home Minister who claimed that he spoke ‘on behalf of the Government of India’ is much more significant than what the  Working Committee said on 30 July 2013.

There has been a vigorous debate in civil society on the desirability or otherwise of dividing . There is a body of argument that favours division which puts forth economic, political, historical, language and culture reasons. And there is a robust rebuttal of the separatist arguments and claims by those who champion unity and oppose bifurcation of the state. This debate threw up a range of issues. It interrogated the present model of governance, the model of development pursued in the state and the country, the consequences of refusing to decentralize political decision-making power, regional disparities that are real and imagined, jobless growth that some of the economic policies engendered, issues of land use- both urban and rural, and not the least, the elites using raw emotions based on caste, sub-region, religion in their pursuit of political power and to buttress their electoral chances.

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Telangana: TDP Seeks Centre’s Support To Develop New Capital

TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu placed a set of demands before the Centre to fulfil before completing the formalities related to formation of Telangana state
ChandrababuThe Telugu Desam Party has asked the Centre to immediately constitute a committee of experts to assess the quantum of funds required to develop a new capital city for  state subsequent to the formation of  state.

“According to our rough estimates, a staggering Rs 4-5 lakh crore will be required to build a new capital and comprehensively create necessary infrastructure. The new capital should be developed on par with Hyderabad,”  chief N Chandrababu Naidu told reporters here today.

Chandrababu placed a set of demands before the Centre to fulfil before completing the formalities related to formation of  state.

“The Centre should provide full monetary support for building the new capital. There are a number of central Public Sector Undertakings, research centres and premier educational institutions in Hyderabad. Similar institutions should be built in (new) so that employment opportunities will be available for people of that region.

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‘Congress Doesn’t Take Such Decisions On The Basis Of Political Gains’

Q & A Digvijaya Singh, AICC General Secretary and in-charge of Andhra Pradesh

Dig_vijayThe CWC and the UPA Coordination Committee has endorsed the formation of . What happens now, what is the game plan of Congress?

The Government of India will refer the issue to the state assembly of Andhra Pradesh which will send an appropriate resolution to the central government. This will go to the cabinet which will form a GoM to look into the modalities. After which the law ministry will draft a bill which will go to the state assembly which will send another resolution. This resolution will be approved by the central government and will be forwarded to the President. The President will forward it to Parliament where it will be passed with simple majority and then it will be returned to the President.

What is the reason that the Congress, which was initially very reluctant on the formation of , agreed to play ball this time? Isnt the decision taken by the Congress party purely political expediency, just for the electoral gain?

There is no political expediency on the part of Congress. It does not take such far reaching decisions on the basis of political gains.  has been a long standing demand of the people of . When our late Chief Minister YSR Reddy was leader of opposition in the Andhra Assembly, he and Congress MLAs from the state had requested the Congress leadership for a separate state of . The Congress leadership had formed a committee under the leadership of Pranab Mukherjee to look into these demands.

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JD Seelam taking oath as Union Minister Photo: PTI
JD Seelam taking oath as Union Minister
Photo: PTI


Rayalaseema And Seemandhra Require Special Development Packages: JD Seelam

A section of non-Telengana Congress MPs threatened to quit the Congress if the party decided to support division of Andhra Pradesh. They changed their views after the proposal was endorsed at the high-level UPA coordination committee and Congress Working Committee meetings. JD Seelam, Cong MP, Rajya Sabha from AP and Minister of state for finance had answers for the way forward as well.

The decision for a separate of Telengana has fallen through at successive meetings of the UPA coordination committee and  Working Committee. How do you view it being a Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra?

It is a good decision taken by the party not only in the interests of the state of Telengana but for all three regions of . It is a win-win situation for all concerned.

What happens to Hyderabad? The resolution speaks of a shared capital for both states, under central administration.

The UPA has endorsed the proposal for dividing the state and the resolution included forming an empowered group of ministers which would work out all modalities including sharing of the present capital Hyderabad. As per the resolution, it would be for a period of 10 years. This has been done in the interests of Hyderabad’s population which comprises people from everywhere. We’ve to devise plans for their well-being, security and employment.

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Live Blog: CWC recommends creation of new Telangana state

09:25 pm – The Government should bring the Bill for creation of separate state of Telangana in the coming session of Parliament: Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition (Lok Sabha)

08:45 pm – TRS Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, “My message to all the brothers of Andhra Pradesh: There is no need to worry. We will be together.” Rao however said it is too early to comment on the merger of his party with Congress.

7:55 pm – Aam Aadmi Party has always maintained that a new state of Telangana should be announced without further procrastination, the party said in a press statement.

7:50 pm – It is too late, but however they finally took a decision: D Raja, CPI on the decision to create a separate Telangana.

 

 

7:40 pm – Telangana is a struggle by people for 56 years and betrayal of Cong for 56 years. BJP salutes thousands who have given up their lives for Telangana: BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar

 

7:00 pm – CPM does not endorse the creation of Telangana. It will set a bad precedent and open floodgates in other states, says the party.

6:55 pm – It’s (creation of Telangana) unfortunate. Told it to Sonia ji & Ghulam Nabi Azad ji. It’s hurting us: Rudraraju Padmaraju, Congress leader from Seemandhra

6:50 pm – We are swallowing poison for the cause of the Congress, says Rudraraju Padma Raju, Congress chief whip in Andhra Pradesh

6:40 pm – CWC endorses creation of a separate Telangana.

6:35 pm – A formal announcement on the creation of Telangana is expected to be made at 7 pm. CWC meeting ends.

05:45 pm – TRS leader KT Rama Rao: If its the Telangana we were demanding with 10 districts and Hyderabad as capital then we welcome it.But we are cautious.

05:25 pm – Congress MPs opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh have drafted a letter to present to the Congress Working Committee at its meet here.

The MPs have said, in the letter, that it will be a matter of shame if the state is divided. The letter, addressed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, asks her to not accept the Srikrishna committee report. The said report studied the detailed aspects of dividing Andhra Pradesh into Telangana or Rayala-Telangana.

The Congress Working Committee, executive committee of the Congress is about to start its meeting to deliberate on the issue. If a decision is taken by the Congress and the Centre, the proposal will be sent to the state assembly of Andhra Pradesh and a bill for the division of the state will be presented in parliament later.

 

05:15 pm – Congress Working Committee meeting begins. Formal decision of creation of Telangana to be announced after the meeting ends.

05:13 pm – Andhra CM Kiran Kumar Reddy meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

05:00 pm – UPA unanimously endorses creation of a separate state of Telangana

04:55 pm – UPA Coordination Committee meet on Telangana ends. Press briefing to commence soon.

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03:30 pm – Venkaiah Naidu: We’ve been raising this issue at every stage and don’t know what is taking the congress so long to decide. You can’t have a shared capital at all. That will be against the Interests of the Andhra citizens who’ll have to cross a border to access their capital. The Congress needs to formulate an immediate plan for security and law and order for the city before anything else.

03:00 pm – Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chief Minister Andhra Pradesh, ” the talk of my resignation are all rumors.”


01:45 pm – Pallam Raju, HRD Minister, of India says ‘we will abide by the decision of the party, but we are worried about the developments and we have conveyed the same to the leadership’.

01:40 pm – JD Seelam, MoS Finance of India, says ‘there is no question of resigning, we are coinfident that all decisions will be taken to the benefit of the people and congress workers.

01:20 pm – If people of Jammu agitate we tell them after 10 years we will give you a seperate state? I don’t agree. Bundelkhand, Gorkhaland could be next. Such piecemeal reorganization of states should not happen -Omar Abdullah

12:45 pm – Chiranjeevi, Pallam Raju, JD Seelam, Panabaka Lakshmi & Purandeshwari come to meet Sonia Gandhi.

12:20 pm – Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Kumar Reddy arrives in New Delhi for the CWC meeting.


Interview
Ponnam Prabhakar, Congress MP, Telangana region:

‘Hyderabad is an integral part of Telangana and its identity’

Ponnam_PrabhakarPonnam Prabhakar, Congress MP, tells Ushinor Majumdar that it is the people opposing Telangana who are blackmailing the Congress leadership and the central government

On a united Andhra Pradesh

Our claim is very simple. The division was done 50 years ago but the Andhra leadership has been clinging on to us. Hundreds of people have died during the protests for a separate state of Telangana. This is like a forced marriage while we have been claiming divorce for the last 50 years through which we are being raped. They have no right to tie use down to a unified Andhra Pradesh and it will result in only more bloodshed.

On Hyderabad as common capital
Hyderabad is an integral part of Telangana and its identity and it is our state capital. Andhra has a capital ready in Vijaywada and this was stated several times during the consultation process for creation of Telangana. Despite what was decided in the talks, the pro-Andhra team is trying to hold on to Hyderabad.

On Congress
The pro-Telangana group is a public movement, backed by the voice of the people who want to have their own separate state. It is the people opposing Telangana who are blackmailing the Congress leadership and the central government.


12:15 pm – Ahmad Patel, Digvijaya Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sushilkumar Shinde of the Congress core group meet Sonia Gandhi at her residence ahead of the CWC and UPA Coordination panel meeting scheduled for later today.

12:02 pm – Sonia Gandhi meets Manmohan Singh ahead of a crucial Telangana meet. A decision is likely to be taken today at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.

 

 

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[Tehelka Archive]

Political Analyst Dr Parakala Prabhakar argues against the demand for a separate state of Telangana. Prabhakar, who is also the general secretary of Visalandhra Mahasabha, has authored a book — Refuting an Agitation: 101 Lies and Dubious Arguments of Telangana Separatists

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