The creation of Telangana brings to an end a tumultuous chapter in Indian politics. If the previous BJP-led NDA government had shown how to efficiently go about with carving out not one but three states, the Congress-led UPA 2 government mishandled the creation of Telangana right from 2009 when it made the announcement about starting the process of creating a separate state.
After dithering over the decision for four years, the Congress-led UPA government in the last lap of its term decided to accelerate the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. But so miscalculated was its approach that even its chief minister, N Kiran Kumar Reddy, opposed the move.
Such was the resentment of the people of the state that in this general election, of the total 42 seats in undivided Andhra Pradesh, the Congress managed to get only two. It is expected that the BJP-led NDA government, now in power, will handle the situation better and till now have made the right moves.
While the TDP, under the leadership of N Chandrababu Naidu, has won 102 of the 175 assembly seats in Seemandhra, K Chandrashekar Rao’s TRS has won 63 of the 119 assembly seats in Telangana. The majority gives both the leaders a free hand to lead stable governments.
Mr Naidu, who in his previous tenure as CM of Andhra Pradesh ushered in considerable development and turned the state into one of the IT hubs in India, appears to be the right person to head Seemandhra at this point of time. Mr Rao is a seasoned politician who has spoken up for the people of Telangana and has got the people’s mandate.
The challenge for the Centre will be to address the needs of both the states in a fair manner. Sectors like health, power, education, industry and irrigation need to be prioritised and resources need to be divided equitably. Every decision taken will have a lasting impact on the states and there’s no room for error.
Both Mr Naidu and Mr Rao get off to a fresh start and their vision will go a long way towards setting the course in which each state will move in the coming decades. For the two leaders to deliver it is important that the Centre assist them at all steps. And given the equations at the moment, this should not prove too difficult.