Why Seemandhra leaders are living in a fool’s paradise


tssBy T S Sudhir
Can someone politely tell the elected representatives from Seemandhra to shut up? Because it is quite pathetic the manner in which they continue to fool the people of the two regions of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, talking of how they still can prevent Telangana from happening, first by blocking the Bill on Andhra Pradesh’s reorganisation in the Assembly and then Parliament. Fake bravado, thy name is the Congress leader from Seemandhra.
Facts on the ground are that the state assembly is only expected to “express an opinion”, not vote for or against the draft Bill. Two, with the BJP committed to supporting formation of Telangana, a few Seemandhra MPs aren’t likely to add or subtract much from the total number of `Ayes’.
Let’s face it. These leaders have been checkmated by the more persistent lot from Telangana who despite their political differences, were united in their goal of achieving statehood for their region. Yes, the Congress leaders from Telangana found KCR’s verbal volleys offensive but they did not let those ego battles come in the way of ensuring they did their bit.
But not so the `power-ful’ Seemandhra MPs. Ever since December 23, 2009, when they forced the Congress to take a U-turn on its Chidambaram’s Statehood at Midnight announcement, they were drunk on their ability to ensure Telangana will never happen. In private conversations, they pointed to their moneybag status and the fact that apart from a political relationship, they also enjoyed business relationship with the people who mattered in Delhi.
But the manner in which the Congress High command treated this lot is a case study in political management. The same business interests were used to get some of the MPs to behave themselves. While they were allowed to indulge in posturing in public, in private, they did not step out of line, to ensure their self-interest did not suffer.
The leadership also split the group on caste lines. A minister like Panabaka Lakshmi, from the SC community, was not interested in calling it quits because the leadership started wooing her and ministers like K Laxminarayana, Balaraju in the state, as a foil to the Reddys who have always dominated Andhra Pradesh politics in the Congress party. These leaders saw an opportunity for themselves in a Congress keen to indulge in some social engineering.
The Rayala Telangana proposal that was mooted by a section of ministers in the Group of Ministers came in handy to divide the lot more. Suddenly the MPs and ministers from Kurnool and Anantapur were willing to break ranks with the United Andhra Pradesh lobby and join a Telangana state. Now that the cabinet went back to its Telangana-only plan, these leaders, are back with the original group – grumpy and sheepish. But the cracks have only widened.
First-time ministers like KS Rao, Chiranjeevi, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy went through the motions of resigning but continued to stay in their chair, arguing that the PM had told them to do so. The real reason was that there was not much to gain by pressing for their resignations to be accepted because the Congress back home was being demolished completely and being a political nobody in Delhi did not make sense. The leadership played on the lal batti obsession of these leaders. Ditto with the ministers in the state cabinet.
The fight over which city will be the new capital of the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh also came in handy to divide the united AP group. While Kishore Chandra Deo pitched for Visakhapatnam, the Rayalaseema group plumped for Kurnool. Others rooted for Vijayawada-Guntur. The fight is only likely to intensify now that an expert committee will ask for suggestions. Good way to keep everyone busy.
It is not that only the Congress representatives have behaved irresponsibly. You have the TDP MP N Shivaprasad saying Chandrababu Naidu will withdraw the TDP letter affirming its support to bifurcation if the Congress would reverse its decision then. Are political parties and their decisions on crucial matters taken so whimsically?
Both the TDP and the YSR Congress declared a bandh in the 13 districts of Seemandhra – in a sense, abdicating its position in Telangana. Almost as if everyone living in Telangana is in favour of the manner in which the division of the state is taking place. TDP called for a 48-hour bandh, so the YSRC also extended its bandh to the second day, citing people’s wishes to do so. This competitive bandh politics is going to get the people who advocate an united AP nowhere. They only inconvenience the common man in these regions.
Meanwhile, the language is getting shrill. Those who are settled in Hyderabad from other regions are already complaining of subtle and not-so-subtle threats issued online. It won’t take much time for it to get offline, they fear. The message is that anyone who is living in any part of Telangana can speak anything remotely critical of the division at his or her own risk. Intolerance is reflecting itself in the kind of intemperate language being spoken. If Brand Hyderabad has to survive and flourish, it is important that such voices do not get any encouragement in the new state of Telangana.

About t s sudhir & uma sudhir

Uma Sudhir and T S Sudhir are senior journalists, based in Hyderabad. Both work for NDTV. Uma is a Tamilian, who was educated in
This entry was posted in Andhra Pradesh, Political blogs, Telangana and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Why Seemandhra leaders are living in a fool’s paradise

  1. Vikram Simha says:

    even if there is voting .. the state congress declares whip in assembly .. even CM who is against TG , can’t vote against.
    chief whip of state congress is Gandra Venkat Ramana belongs to TG.

  2. Sujith says:

    @Vikram Whip won’t matter. CM and all MLAs can vote as they like even if it means a violation of the whip. The Chief Whip can’t force them. He can only complain to the speaker later and the speaker may serve notice and disqualify them after a few weeks. By then, they may resign by themselves and say don’t care at all about what the Chief Whip and speaker do.

  3. Neither the Seemandhra leaders are living in the fool’s paradise nor are the people of Seemandhra are fools to be fooled by the former. While their leaders are cunning rather to speak in different voices at the same time suiting their convenience and necessity, they (common people in seemandhra) are intelligent enough NOT to believe any more their so-called leaders. They strongly believe in a ‘Force’ that works in the affairs of men. They hope that the said Force may work like this-
    1. With the expected defeat (which proved correct a short while ago) of the Congress party in the Assembly elections in five States, the principal Opposition Party, the BJP,to cash it on the gains immediately, may demand the Congress Government to resign, failing which a “No Confidence Motion” may be introduced in the current session of Parliament against the Government. The allies like NCP of Sharad Pawar and N.C. of Farooq Abdullah, in their eagerness to distance themselves from the omissions and commissions of the Congress party may pull out of the UPA. And the Congress MPs of the Lok Sabha from other States who are intelligent enough to know on which side their political bread is buttered may also support the demand of the Opposition. Then the MPs from Seemandhra may also muster courage to vote against the Government on the floor of the Lok Sabha on the contention that rather an unwanted bifurcation has been thrust upon the people of their Region. This ultimately leads to the dissolution of the Lok Sabha and when once this is done, there no possibility of the passage of the Bifurcation Bill in the near future;

    2. Then the people of the Seemandhra hope on the independence of the judicial system in the country and hope that the highest Court of the land will NOT concur with the bifurcation attempt in such an haphazard manner as is done presently like ignoring totally the critical Article 371 D enshrined in the Constitution; and

    3. They have also hope in the wisdom of the President that he will act in an impartial manner and see that the set Rules and conventions are followed this time also as were followed in the past when the bifurcation of three States of Chattisgarh, Uttarkhand and Jharkhand had taken place. Then at any stage the time may run out for completion of the process of bifurcation of the State at least during the life of the present Lok Sabha.

    With this belief and the Karmic philosophy of “Do your Duty and leave the end result to God” only men and women, educated and illiterate, young and old and eunuchs and beggars have been agitating for the last four months on the roads in highly innovative manner. Their belief may be compared to the belief of an ordinary person who once brought an umbrella to the venue of a building where a ‘Yagna’ is being performed to please Varuna, the rain God (so that rain will definitely start showering and then he can use the umbrella). In the final analysis, it is worthwhile to remember a famous quotation: “Those who think Shakespeare’s fools are fools are fools!” (If one thinks that the foolish characters/dramatic personae created by Shakespeare are really foolish, then such a person who think like that are themselves fools)

  4. telugu says:

    in all those agitations in the past 4 months,how many telangana people have taken part?
    without the participation of those with whom u want to be united,how can it be a “united ap” agitation?

    • Any person with little knowledge or even without also knows that those want separation never participate in a united agitation.If the yardstick of numbers or percentages is applied, what is the total number/percentage of people in the united Andhra Pradesh that demand a separate State? From population point of view,do the separatists constitute majority or minority in the unified State? And above all these things, are the separatists promised a new State or the Seemandhra people being thrust with an unwanted residual State? No where in history a new State is given by asking the majority people to get out of the existing State.

  5. deepak says:

    so u agree that majority of the telangana people want a new state.and just because we are less in numbers than the seemandhra people,we should supress our desires eternally.even if our region doesnt get justice in united ap,we should continue to keep mumb.reason being-we are in minority.is tat what we u meen to say?

    • bhsmanyam says:

      No, you are totally mistaken my good friend! I never spoke of majority or minority either in Seemandhra or Telengana regions independently. I spoke of majority opinion in the present UNIFIED State. Undoubtedly the majority people in the UNIFIED State want the State to be an integrated one.The affairs in a democratic State always goes by majority opinion. How a candidate is elected by you? Suppose you might have voted for a candidate/party who/which might have been defeated in the elections ultimately.Then can you say that though your candidate polled lesser number of votes,still value should be given to your opinion and your voted candidate should be declared a winner? Even in a family set-up also decisions are taken like that only. And coming to family set-up, suppose the elder or younger brother wants to separate from the joint family. Will he leave the House or ask all other family members to leave the House so that he can proclaim that he got ‘separated’ from the joint family? This is what is happening today.In actual practice. It is NOT the Telangana region that tries to get a new State but rather an unwanted State or a residual State is being thrust upon the Seemandhra Region. This is the reason why so much uproar is taking place now.

      Anyway while we respect your sentiment for a separate State, you please also try to recognise our sentiment to remain united.And this discussion goes rather ‘eternally,’ to use your words! As such please let’s both of us close this discussion here itself eternally,again to use words. Best wishes and regards to you.

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