Cong cuts Telangana plan short
Telangana appears headed for a road to nowhere. The subtle Congress game plan to discredit the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) ? the champion of a separate state ? on its turf is gradually paying off.india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 01:46 IST
Telangana appears headed for a road to nowhere. The subtle Congress game plan to discredit the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) — the champion of a separate state — on its turf is gradually paying off. The TRS is a constituent of the UPA government at the Centre.
In Mahabubnagar, one of the region's most backward districts, the TRS is no longer seen as a party that can deliver on its promise. The Congress strategy to cripple the TRS is two-pronged: fast-track development coupled with little forward movement on the statehood issue.
On the development front, chief minister Y.S.R. Reddy's "special focus on Telangana" aims to bring water to the parched fields, provide free power and create more jobs, making the demand for a separate state redundant in the process.
But before the progress boom, the Congress high command in concert with its chief minister has ensured that there is little movement on the statehood issue. As a result, the TRS stands shamed among its own because of virtually no follow-up action, post ultimatums to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, the chief minister said during his mass contact programme in nine districts (excluding Hyderabad) of Telangana, he realized that people were more keen on development than a new state.
He bandies this Ground Zero perception to justify his decision to provide free power for irrigation, writing off Rs 1,200 crore power dues, completing 31 irrigation projects in two to five years, creating new jobs and taking IT revolution to villages.
But the people are wary of Reddy's efforts. Farmers complain that power is not completely free. Tillers of Raulpalli village say, "We get power for only two hours a day. It is not sufficient." Irrigation trips on erratic power supply.
The solitary tea stall at Farooqnagar does brisk business. Not that the people here have money to spare. But they have plenty of time to while away without jobs.
First Published: Feb 18, 2006 01:46 IST