December 27, 2010

telengana: too hot to handle

Andhra is on fast these days! Jagan Mohan, Chandrababu Naidu and now Congress MPs. Within three days, the Srikrishna Committee is going to give its report, and the chances are that it favours setting up of a Telengana state [or will it give an analysis on pros and cos of carving out a new state and draw no conclusions?].

Part of the mess is Congress's creation and part of it is beyond any party's handiwork. The treatment meted out to TRS by Congress, Chidambaram's 'smart by half' statements, the mid-way division among MPs and MLAs of various parties on their support or opposition to Telengana, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) by the pro-Telengana forces in the State... the brew has become rather too hot.  You won't be surprised if government officials, trade unions, university students, municipalities and other local governments - all pro-Telengana people join the stir planned by the JAC. There is likely to be a lot of damage to public property and wide-spread disruption of transportation and essential services. Also expect fasts unto death and self-immolation bids. If the state and central government do not handle the arising situation deftly and firmly, the agitation is all set to go out of the hands of its present leaders. It is a nightmare for any party at the Centre.

One obtaining scenario is that Congress sets up the new Telengana state and takes the credit for it. In that case, TRS might support it in the next Lok Sabha elections and Congress gets mass support in the new state. As for the remaining Andhra, with its present rule, it can slowly win over the people by announcing many sops to it and explaining how it will prosper better without the Telengana region. But this is too optimistic a scenario and it might not unfold that way. All other scenarios are bad to very bad for Congress.

In administrative terms, at the national level the choice is more difficult for another reason: there will be stronger demand for smaller states such as Gorkhaland, Harit Pradesh and Vidarbha. The experiment with three new states a decade back has borne only mixed fruits.

1 comment:

  1. Telengana is sizzling right now. Govt is in a big problem. Tomorrow will be the day to watch.