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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014
Hyderabad blues: will Cong's Telangana gamble pay off?
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 03, 2013
First Published: 21:25 IST(3/10/2013)
Last Updated: 22:45 IST(4/10/2013)
Police detain anti-Telangana activists who were protesting outside the Prime Minister's house in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

It may take a while in formalising but there is no going back on the creation of Telangana as far as the UPA government is concerned. While the Cabinet has decided to give the green signal for Hyderabad to be the joint capital of both Andhra and Telangana, the political implications for the Congress will be significant.

The banner of revolt has already been raised by chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy who has been opposed to the bifurcation of the state. From being a relatively low key political person, the chief minister has gathered considerable support in the non-Telangana areas for standing up to the Centre.

At a time when the Congress is hoping that it can somehow woo the YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy, he too has opposed a divided state. For at least the last two months, areas of Seemandhra and Rayalaseema have been virtually shut down thanks to ongoing protests.

We no longer hear anything about the Justice Srikrishna Commission report that made some suggestions on the subject. One was, in fact, for Hyderabad to remain the capital of all the regions until Rayalaseema and Seemandhra developed their own capitals. Another was greater devolution of power to the Telangana region, something that is no longer feasible given where things stand today.

The other was for Hyderabad to have Union Territory status, a suggestion which the Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader Chandrashekhar Rao, who chops and changes his position with each day, did not agree to. The very rationale behind setting up the commission seems questionable today given that in hindsight it appears to have been a move more to buy time than to have resolved the issue speedily. 

Much of this could have been avoided had the Centre gone about this issue step-by-step. Instead it allowed political compulsions in the form of possible alliances to dictate its moves.

It should either have outright refused to concede the bifurcation of the state or have insisted that it will go according to a proper blueprint. Now that the die is cast, all parties seem to be improvising along the way. This is bound to raise more problems than solutions.

Factfile on Telangana:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/10/telangana1.gif


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