Amid the turmoil in Andhra Pradesh, the vacuum created by late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy’s untimely death is palpable.
A refrain in political circles is that had YSR, as the late chief minister was called, been alive, the current agitation in favour of a separate Telangana state would not have acquired the proportions it has.
YSR died in a chopper crash on September 2.
“Today in this situation (the man) we miss the most is YSR. With the command he had, New Delhi would at most have announced a committee to settle the matter instead of taking such a hasty decision (of introducing a bill for Telangana’s statehood) with no consultation,” Anam Ramnarayana Reddy, state minister for municipal administration and urban development, told Hindustan Times.
A large number of legislators, including 53 Congress MLAs and 2 Congress MPs, have resigned to protest what they felt was a precipitate decision by the Centre.
While Telangana had been on the boil for the past two weeks, Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement on creating a new state has caused protests to erupt in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is bringing up the issue of Telugu pride again. It had done so in 1982, when Congress Chief Minister T. Anjaiah was allegedly insulted by Rajiv Gandhi, then party general secretary, at Hyderabad airport.
“The present situation shows that the Congress high command did not bother to hear the views of a senior leader like K. Rosaiah. This reminds one of the Anjaiah incident…” said Payyavula Keshav, TDP MLA.