It took two consecutive hits (electoral defeats) on its head for the ruling Congress to realise that the simmering statehood issue should be dealt with.
In our columns Postnoon had suggested more than once that a political solution, not violent agitation, is the right route to search for a peaceful settlement of a Telangana State. Finally, New Delhi seems to have woken up to the reality.
The sudden flurry of activity among all Congress satraps, right from Sonia Gandhi to Ghulam Nabi Azad, meeting AP leaders and enquiring about the T State possibility has given hope to a political solution. It took two consecutive hits (electoral defeats) on its head for the Congress to realise that the simmering issue should be dealt with.
Some 750 people are believed to have died since the T-stir began four decades ago. Some of them are claimed to be suicides though no orderly investigation has been conducted to find the veracity of the claim. But the loss of life and limb and property for the sake of a separate state has been gigantic.
Union home minister P Chidambaram’s announcement on Friday that the process to work out the Telangana issue was quickened confirms the Congress resolution to find a solution. But the issue is far more knotty than is commonly understood. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted as much when he said on November 12 last year, “Telangana is a complicated matter and we are trying to evolve a consensus, where all shades of public opinion would agree that what is being done is in the interest of each and everyone. We cannot solve the problem of Telangana by agreeing to Telangana State while there is disquiet and unrest in other regions of Andhra Pradesh. From the frying pan to the fire is not an appropriate solution to the National problem.”
The trouble is that only minor players of the State, the BJP, the TRS, the CPI, and the CPI-M have taken a stand on the Telangana issue but other major parties in the state politics — the Congress, the TDP, and now the YSR Congress —are yet to make up their mind about Telangana. This apart, bent on denying Hyderabad to Telangana is the MIM which though a small party has influential voice in the corridors of power.
The nagging fear in the Congress camp, Postnoon learnt, is the future of the Congress in this region. AP has been Congress’ mascot all these years. If the demand is acceded will the TRS agree to be rechristened as the Telangana Congress? If so the Sonia congress has no trouble granting the wish but what guarantee is there it would be so considering the increasing sub-nationalist sentiment throughout the country?
Nobody is offering an answer because nobody wants to stick his neck out.
About the Author (Author Profile)
PK Surendran is senior editor at Postnoon.