Creation of Telangana- the struggle and the road aheadDear Brothers and Sisters from all regions of Andhra Pradesh,
Namaskaram! I am looking forward to interacting with all of you on 11th August at the Nava Bharath Yuva Bheri Public Rally in Hyderabad.
During the public meeting at Hyderabad, I was hoping to share my thoughts on the issue of statehood for Telangana as well as on all of your concerns on a roadmap for all the regions of Andhra Pradesh.
However, in the wake of the sequence of events, the Congress Party has done in the last few days what it shied away from doing in the last 9 years- to work overtime on a decision over Telangana. It is an undisputable fact that Congress Party has neither been consistent nor transparent in its conduct over the creation of a Telangana state. Thus, a Party and a Government that has betrayed the people on the issue of Telangana time and again can hardly be trusted on this issue this time around.
The BJP is the only party with the strongest record on the creation of small states. It maybe recalled that it was the NDA Government under the leadership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee that created three new states of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand (then known as Uttaranchal) and Jharkhand in 2000 thus giving a new ray of hope to the aspirations of the people in these areas.
Friends, the same Congress party that won in 2004 on the promise of Telangana has played cynical games with the aspirations and sentiments of the people for nine long years. Now, at a time when there are only a few months left before the people of this country vote again, the Congress Party is rushing to announce Telangana. This raises serious concerns on the seriousness and intentions of the Congress.
After winning handsomely in Andhra Pradesh under the leadership of Dr. YS Rajashekhara Reddy in 2004 and 2009, the Congress has turned its back on this state since the former Chief Minister died. In December 2009, the then Home Minister Shri P Chidambaram announced the commencement of the process for statehood to Telangana only to be withdrawn hastily. The Congress party then sought to buy time by creating another committee on the question of Telangana. But, it remained indifferent to the collapse in administration, political violence and the unfortunate specter of suicides by youngsters of Telangana. Meanwhile, governance came to a standstill in Andhra Pradesh.
While we welcome any forward movement on the issue of Telangana, we yet again ask how real is the intent of the Congress and the UPA Government this time around.
I would like to pose the following questions to the Congress party leadership and the UPA Government.
Question 1 - Where is your homework in terms of creating consensus in your own party, within the Government and within all political parties on the issue of Telangana when you have been speaking in so many divergent voices ?
Question 2 - Unlike capital cities that became shared capitals by virtue of being on the border between two states, Hyderabad becomes a shared capital despite being located well within Telangana. Thus, this does not justify the logic of sharing a capital albeit for a short duration. This leaves scope for operational difficulties.
Thus, how practical is it for a state to have a capital that does not lie either within its boundaries or along its borders?
Question 3 - What constructive measures have you taken to prepare the minds of the people of Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema to welcome this decision on Telangana? What assurances have you provided to them so as to assuage their anxieties and to take them on board? Where is your “political roadmap” to creating this consensus among the people? All we have been hearing is that the issue is a “technical process.”
Question 4 - What commitments are you prepared to make to the people of Telangana, who have already suffered severe trauma over your many betrayals, that you will not take them for a ride one more time?
Question 5 - Many youngsters of Telangana have committed suicide. Hyderabad as an investment destination has suffered, the state of Andhra Pradesh has slipped. The state once considered the rice bowl of India has seen agricultural slides making it a state with high farmer suicides. It is indeed ironical that the Congress Party has sought to hide itself behind committees, reports and futile deliberations instead of courageously facing the people of Andhra Pradesh. Neither the Congress President nor the Congress Vice President have set foot into Andhra Pradesh in recent years, despite the fact that Andhra Pradesh sent the highest MPs for the Congress both in 2004 and 2009. Will the Congress leadership not apologize to the people of Andhra Pradesh for treating them like doormats to suit the Congress’ political opportunism?
BJP's Principles for a Meaningful Roadmap to all Regions of Andhra Pradesh
- We stand by our commitment to statehood for Telangana. We however believe that the Roadmap should be such that it is a win-win solution to all the people of all regions. Statehood for one region should not be viewed as coming at the expense of another region.
- We believe that this is an Opportunity for us to develop all the other major Cities of Andhra Pradesh across all regions so Vishakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Guntur, Warangal, Karimnagar and Ongole, Anantpur Kurnool and Kadapa etc. all stand to gain.
- We respect the Constitution that Protects the Rights of all Citizens. The BJP will take every step to protect persons, families, businesses and assets of all the people of Andhra Pradesh living across regions irrespective where their roots may lie.
- We are committed to reviving the economy of all the regions of Andhra Pradesh. Law and Order, Political Stability and a Dynamic Policy Regime will be our priorities. BJP will ensure that the benefits of River Water will reach all regions and water resources sharing will be fair, just and equitable.
- We are committed to restoring Trust and Confidence once again of all regions There shall be no more cynical political games and no more betrayals.
- We are committed to preserving the shared Telugu cultural heritage of all regions that shall in no way be affected by what is merely an administrative boundary. Telugu Culture and Pride shall remain boundary-less.
This may be the first time a state formed on Linguistic basis is being proposed to be divided. It is an emotional moment.
Even at this time as the state is being divided, to respect the popular sentiment we bow our heads in respect to martyrs like the late Shri Potti Sreeramulu who sacrificed their lives for the creation of Andhra Pradesh. Inspired by their memory we commit ourselves to work for the progress of all Telugu people in each of these regions.