Congress’s desparate “Telengana Tamasha”

                                                Srinivas Nyapathy Writes:

Inspite of lakhs of people taking to the streets across Seemandhra, genuinely disgusted with the centre’s move to go ahead with the ill planned process  for  creating Telengana,  which these people feel is a decision riddled with injustice all over it for their region, the centre, refers to the letters given in support of the state’s division by majority of opposition parties in  Andhra , as a excuse to get away from the criticism of a decision taken by them. This despite, the parties reiterating that this is not the way to divide a state..!

The centre wishes to shove the Sri Krishna Committee recommendations under the carpet, a committe that was constituted by the UPA itself, as the recommendations do not suit its plans. The centre  hides itself away from the fact that their own state Congress ministers have quit the party against the bifurcation, Central ministers also decided to resign from their posts for all the injustice being meted out to the people of seemandhra. Among many embrassments for the UPA-2 under the muted, remote controlled, “un”able Prime Ministership of Mr Manmohan Singh, this Telengana Tamasha takes the cake with none other than the Andhra Pradesh Chief minister, a congress leader himself,  going up against the decision of bifurcation. The CM surprised everyone and members of his own party by going to the extent of giving interviews to the media as to how  Seemandhra will suffer with this decision. He cautioned that many irksome issues would  crop up because of the bifurcation,  and they need to be addressed before any announcement of bifurcation, if at all.

But the High command tries to ignore  all this and shamelessly puts the onus on the opposition parties’ letters. If at all UPA is so keen to act on opposition letters, there are many asking the PM to answer the letters with questions regarding Coal Scam, Many letters  regarding the weak foreign policy. Letters regarding other states asking about bifurcations in their states. Why harp only about the YSRCP and TDP letters ??  Because, those letters suit the music UPA wants to play and what it wants people to hear.

The Congress and its high command should find better ways than stooping to dividing states to get ahead in the 2014 elections.

The challenge for Congress to win elections in the future, and form a Government, will be to find leaders who know politics and who can “play” it well. Today UPA is “playing” into the hands of the opposition. One recent example is the dramatic development of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi strongly criticizing his own government’s decision to pass an ordinance to allow convicted politicians to contest elections and said it is nonsense and that it should be “torn up”.  This is only a small example of panic and confusion in party with 2014 elections round the corner.

The Seemandhra Agitation failed to make the Central Government react in its favour. The softness of the Samaikya agitation only seemed to egg the pro Telengana lobby on to push ahead with the tabling of the T note and march towards the creation of Telengana.

Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, both have not spoken publicly about the crisis in Andhra.  The Congress team, handling the Telengana and Seemandhra issue seems to lack the experience and the understanding to handle a crisis as serious as this. The party High Command  is finding it hard to keep its folk together in Andhra’s  3 regions and make them speak in one tone. UPA’s strategy is its much talked about merger with TRS in Telengana and YSRCP in Seemandhra to ride it back to power in 2014, than focussing on welfare schemes like did Late Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

The Congress’s eyes are fixed on the fringe benefits. Telangana has 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 assembly seats. Should there be a Telangana Rashtra Samithi-Congress coalition/merger, it can aspire to the  figure of 60 assembly seats and 12-14 LS seats. TRS chief , however, has reportedly not only ruled out a merger but is non-committal even on an alliance with the Congress.  The gamble taken by the Congress  might cost them heavily  in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. Congress fortunes are in absolute tatters,  owing to the  anti-Centre mood, anti-Telangana mood,  the Jagan factor.  And in Seemandhra, which has 25 LS seats and 175 assembly seats,  The Congress currently holds 97 seats, where as the the simple majority is 80, but with a strong Jaganmohan Reddy wave forecast, it would need to have a post-poll alliance with YSR Congress.

It can be understood that the  Congress believes having TRS and YSRCP on its side will help it almost neutralise the TDP. Without a TRS alliance, the Congress would be vulnerable in the Telangana region.

It was very evident when asked on the day CWC took a step forward on Telengana Mr Digvijay Singh is on record saying , he is expecting the TRS to merge with Congress. Unless desparate, and trying to send a signal to TRS, why say it on National TV that too on that very day ?

How shameful can it get for the Congress when political experts  feel , even the timely release of Jagan Mohan Reddy and all the drama associated with it, is part of a script for 2014 elections. Shameful because, while YSR was at the helm in Andhra, things were under control. With guidance of Pranab Mukherjee also missing now, Congress under Sonia Gandhi, is at a complete loss and at its wits end  to garner maximum number of seats from Telugus of the 3 regions. The only way to achieve that is to burn Seemandhra, while posing as if doing justice to telengana’s fight for, well, once the fight was for development, now….pride ??!!  The people of Seemandhra are at loss to understand if the UPA even realises that in creating Telengana, they are actually creating another state in the form of this kicked out Seemandhra with a new Capital , and  a new assembly and relegated to using Hyderabad once its capital , only as a unwanted tenent for 10 painful years ? May be the people of Seemenadhra should wait for some other political compulsion for the Congress which would force it  to do justice for them. I conclude this by putting forth the opening paragraph of an article in Frontline by Mr. S Nagesh Kumar  “ The Congress is clearly eyeing a pre-poll alliance with the TRS in Telangana and a post-poll alliance with the YSR Congress in Seemandhra. In this cynical game, it is dividing not only Andhra Pradesh politically but also the eight crore Telugu-speaking people in their minds and hearts.  NEVER in the past three decades has a ruling party in Andhra Pradesh attracted so much public ire as the Congress after its July 30 announcement to carve out a separate Telangana State.  Such is the Congress’ political ambition that votes come first and the people next. This has driven the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre so much out of sync with the ground realities in Andhra Pradesh that it has reduced the raging political storm to a game of chess. If the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the YSR Congress are the major pieces on this chequered board and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu is the adversary, the people are the pawns in its political game.”


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