As Telangana comes within striking distance, the security establishment - that had once raised a red flag over creation of the new state - is worried about the distinct possibility of Maoists exploiting the political and administrative flux after the new state is created.
officials overseeing the anti-Maoist offensive insist that the threat of the Maoists trying to stage a comeback in Telangana was real.
"Most of the Maoist central committee leaders from Andhra are from the Telangana region... they had been actively supporting the pro-Telangana leaders throughout the agitation and would seek their pound of flesh," one of them said.
Ajai Sahni at the Delhi-based security think-tank, Institute for Conflict Management, shares the concern. Sahni worried that the political leadership in Telangana - which had been helped by the Maoists - would not have an option but to go slow against them.
Also, the division of the civil service - as well as the police including the Greyhound commandos - would reduce the capacity of the security apparatus to act against them as well as lower the governance standards, leaving the space open for Maoists to exploit the situation.
"Yes, there are challenges but I don't think there are any reasons to be alarmed," agreed Jayaprakash Narayan, who quit the IAS to work for good governance before launching the Lok Satta Party.
While the security establishment would - and should - certainly keep a close watch on the developments on this account, Narayan said the key would lie with the political leadership and their ability to provide good governance. If they are not able to bridge the governance deficit that prompted the demand for a separate state, there is a possibility that the Maoists could find local support.
Gautam Pingle, till recently at the Administrative Staff College in Hyderabad, said the fears of Maoists returning to Telangana was much more exaggerated than real.
"The Congress won the 2004 elections with support from the Maoists. So what happened," he asked, pointing that it was YS Rajasekhara Reddy who turned against the Maoists after a brief honeymoon.
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