T rocks RS

T rocks RS

CWC decision final: Digvijay - No going back: PC - No homework done before T decision - The Elders on Monday slammed the Congress-led UPA Government for messing up the decision on Telangana. Cutting across party lines, members in the Rajya Sabha, ranging from the TDP and the BJP, sharply criticised the government for dealing with the issue in a ham-handed manner. What was meant to be seeking clarifications on the statement of Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on August 5, the opening day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, on Telangana, got converted into an impromptu and prolonged debate on Telangana, at the end of which Chidambaram gave a reply.

Elders slam Congress for the mess

  • TDP MPs allege decision was with an eye on political advantage
  • Harikrishna in row with Chair over speaking in Telugu
  • Yechury: Only CPM has taken a principled stand
  • Venkaiah Naidu asks Cong not to play politics on such an issue

Venkat Parsa

New Delhi: The Elders on Monday slammed the Congress-led UPA Government for messing up the decision on Telangana. Cutting across party lines, members in the Rajya Sabha, ranging from the TDP and the BJP, sharply criticised the government for dealing with the issue in a ham-handed manner. What was meant to be seeking clarifications on the statement of Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on August 5, the opening day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, on Telangana, got converted into an impromptu and prolonged debate on Telangana, at the end of which Chidambaram gave a reply.

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien assured the TDP members – Y S Chowdhury and C M Ramesh – that soon after the debate and reply on Kishtwar situation, the clarifications on Telangana and asked the protesting members to resume their seats. But the TDP members chose to squat in the well of the House, rather than go back to their seats. Chowdhury, Ramesh and Nandamuri Harikrishna (TDP) slammed the Congress for taking the decision with an eye on political advantage. Never was a state formed in such a manner, they remarked.

While Ramesh spoke in Telugu, Harikrishna, who gave his name at the last moment, did not give advance notice of his intention to speak in Telugu, to arrange for simultaneous translation. When Harikrishna started speaking in Telugu, Kurien objected that as the Chair did not follow the language, he would not know if there were unparliamentary references. But Venkaiah Naidu came to the rescue of Harikrishna, saying no member can be prevented from talking in his mother-tongue. Finally Kurien relented and allowed Harikrishna to speak in Telugu. From the BJP, M Venkaiah Naidu and Prakash Javadekar targeted the Congress for using the state reorganisation for scoring political points.

K V P Ramachander Rao (Cong) asked specific questions and Sitaram Yechury (CPM) questioned the Congress for going back on its own decision in 1927 and again in 1937 to go in for linguistic reorganisation of states. Chowdhury, who along with his colleague Ramesh, protested in the Rajya Sabha for the past several days, sharply attacked the government. While Chowdhury traced the historic developments at length, Ramesh was more emotional and targeted Congress president Sonia Gandhi, which attracted sharp response from M A Khan, Rapole Anand Bhaskar and Renuka Chowdhury (all of the Congress). Palvai Goverdhan Reddy (Cong) demanded that the unparliamentary references should be expunged from the records, which the Chair promised to do .

No going back: PC

  • Decision on Telangana irreversible
  • Cong decided after discussing with all parties
  • BJP changed its stand on Telangana
  • All issues to be discussed threadbare

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday made it clear that there was no question of going back on the decision on Telangana. He asserted that Telangana would be formed in the shortest time possible and it will be earlier than the 215-day timeline followed by the NDA Government for creating the three States of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The decision has been taken by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to form Telangana and the Government will take it forward, Chidambaram said. The Union Home Ministry would soon prepare the Cabinet Note on Telangana and the Cabinet will take a decision on all the contentious issues relating to it like sharing water, power, revenue and status of Hyderabad.

Stating that the decision on Telangana was irreversible, he made it clear that only procedural issues needed to be sorted out. Replying to an impromptu debate in Parliament, Chidambaram said the Congress has been accused of not doing its homework. Justice B N Srikrishna Committee Report is there; all-party meetings were held; all stakeholders were consulted; and several experts were taken on board; and thus all the material collected will now form part of the vast material available for the Cabinet, he remarked.

Srikrishna Committee Report has long chapters on the economy, education, health, water, irrigation and power. Besides, there is a separate chapter on Hyderabad, the sociological and cultural issues. The entire material is available to the Government. During the debate, several MPs raised specific questions, which would be considered in the Union Cabinet, he said. Chidambaram hit back at the political parties for criticising the Congress on its decision to form Telangana. “If the TDP decided in favour of Telangana, it is described as democratic. If the Congress takes the decision, it is dubbed autocratic,” he averred.

Chidambaram wondered how the political parties can accuse and even abuse the Congress for its decision on Telangana. He said the more the Congress is accused and abused, the Congress will emerge that much stronger. The Congress held detailed discussions. All-party meetings were held by him twice. In fact, all the political parties had taken the decision on Telangana and the Congress was the last to take its decision, which came on July 30 this year. When discussions were taking place, the Congress was accused of policy-paralysis. “Now, after the decision has been taken, they are questioning, why have you taken the decision in haste?”

CWC decision final: Digvijay

Venkat Parsa

New Delhi: AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh asserted on Monday that the decision of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Telangana was final. He made it clear that there was no going back on the decision.
Digvijay Singh reasoned that the decision was the outcome of extensive and exhaustive deliberations and there was no way it could be reversed. It was no hasty decision that could be revisited or reviewed.

Reacting to comments of L Rajagopal, Digvijay Singh said, “L Rajagopal is a respected MP, but he is not above the CWC.” It was meant to be a clear signal to all those opposing the decision on Telangana that they would have to toe the party line.
On the process of forming Telangana, he said that the Congress had taken the decision. Now, it was for the Government to take it forward and implement the decision. Digvijay Singh said he saw no conflict of interests in the setting up of the Antony Committee that gets under way from Tuesday.

The Antony Committee would facilitate resolving issues relating to the formation of Telangana. At the party level, it would help build consensus and resolve issues linked to the formation of Telangana. Then the committee would make suggestions to the Government and help in the implementation of the CWC decision on Telangana, Digvijay Singh added.

No homework done before T decision

The opposition parties, particularly BJP and TDP, took the Government to task for not doing its homework on Telangana, before making a crucial decision on granting statehood to the region. The BJP pointed out how the party had managed political consensus on the formation of the three States of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, but the Congress was unable to get the stakeholders on board while forming Telangana.

Y S Chowdhury (TDP) slammed the Government for deriving political mileage from the decision on Telangana. Apologising for the loss of five valuable days, Y S Chowdhury expressed his displeasure over the autocratic ways of the Congress with regard to Telangana. Nearly 800 people in Telangana had lost their lives; it was unwarranted and could have been avoided if only the Centre had acted in a more responsible manner.

In fact, Y S Chowdhury demanded that a legal committee should look into issues relating to Telangana. He asked the Government how it had decided on bifurcating Andhra Pradesh without taking into consideration issues like separate capital for Seemandhra, status of Hyderabad, sharing of river water, revenue, power and other issues.
Y S Chowdhury said the government appointed the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee, spent Rs 25 crore towards its functioning and after 10 months’ time was lost; the report of the Srikrishna Committee Report was ‘dumped’. It was matter of regret that there was no clarity on the status of Hyderabad. Quoting AICC General Secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh, he said that Hyderabad would be in the jurisdiction of Telangana, though the Union Home Ministry would take care of its law and order.

C M Ramesh (TDP), speaking in Telugu, attacked the Congress for raking up Telangana issue in 1999. He maintained that the issue was raked up by then Leader of Opposition Y S Rajashekhar Reddy only to embarrass the TDP. YSR sent a delegation of over 40 MLAs to Delhi to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and since then the party had pressed ahead with the matter. Ramesh targeted Sonia Gandhi, which attracted sharp criticism from the Telangana Congress MPs M A Khan, Rapole Anand Bhaskar and Renuka Chowdhury, with Palvai Goverdhan Reddy demanding that certain unparliamentary references be expunged.

Voicing his principal demands, C M Ramesh said the Centre should immediately restore peace in Seemandhra, which was burning. He demanded the constitution of an all-party committee as other parties would not be able to appear before the Antony Committee, which was an ‘internal’ arrangement’ for the Congress. The Congress had declared that there was no deadline set for the Antony Committee. By this what signal was being given to the people of Telangana and why was the Congress creating confusion, he sought to know.

N Harikrishna (TDP), speaking in Telugu, said that Telugu people were one. But the Congress was now seeking to divide them. At the time of division, normally the elders were called to decide on issues. Prakasam, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, N T Rama Rao and P V Narasimha Rao were among the prominent Telugus. When Andhra Pradesh was celebrating 60 years, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had decided to divide the Telugu people, he said. He wanted to know how the Congress could go ahead with its decision on Telangana without talking to the people and without addressing sharing of water, revenue, power and other key issues.

K V P Ramachander Rao (Cong) defended the role of former chief minister Y S Rajashekhar Reddy and claimed that YSR never advocated separate Telangana. YSR had stood by the CWC’s October 20, 2001 resolution, which favoured the creation of second States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) to look into the demands for Telangana and Vidarbha.
Defending Congress president Sonia Gandhi, K V P Ramachander Rao said any attack on her could not be tolerated. He also wanted the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee Report to be brought up for discussion in Parliament.

T Subbirami Reddy (Cong) expressed surprise at the manner in which the BJP was attacking the Congress, considering that the decision was taking after the BJP repeatedly asked the Congress to take the decision and offered to support it. He wondered why every political party was now criticising the Congress, though each one of them had given in writing favouring the creation of Telangana. Subbirami Reddy said the tough task for the Government was to reach out to the people of Andhra region and address their concerns. An amicable solution was needed and the issue should not be politicized.

Rapolu Anand Bhaskar (Cong) said Hyderabad had developed even before the formation of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad had its own electricity system, its own Hyderabad Civil Service, its own judiciary, railways, currency and stamp paper. The Seemandhra people could not claim that it was they who developed Hyderabad and cry hoarse now as if they were being deprived of the fruits of their labour.

Sitaram Yechury (CPM) said the Congress was the first party to decide on reorganisation of States on linguistic lines way back in 1927 and again in 1937. Andhra Pradesh was the first State to be reorganized on linguistic basis. Ironically, Andhra Pradesh was being bifurcated without any sound basis or rationale, he pointed out.
Yechury asserted that the CPM was the only party that had taken a principled stand on opposing the formation of Telangana. He warned the Centre that it was opening Pandora’s Box with its decision on Telangana. The Centre might not realise its impact on national unity, he said.

M Venkaiah Naidu (BJP) attacked the Congress for blaming the TDP and BJP in the Seemandhra region for its decision on Telangana. If that was so, why the Congress couldn’t say the same thing even in Telangana region, he asked. In Telangana, the Congress wanted credit for creating Telangana. In Seemandhra region, the Congress wanted to blame the TDP and the BJP for Telangana decision, saying that since these parties insisted on it, the Congress was forced to take the decision. he advised the Congress to give up its confrontationist approach, saying it was dangerous. The Congress should not play politics on something as significant as State formation. He recalled that the BJP Campaign Committee Chairman Narendra Modi raised the slogan of “Jai Telangana and Jai Seemandhra”. That shows the BJP position that it wanted both Telangana and Seemandhra regions to prosper.

Prakash Javadekar (BJP) said it was a saga of 56 years of betrayal of Telangana by the Congress. How to create States was an example that had been set by the BJP, when it created three States -- Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. He wanted to know whether or not the Telangana issue would go to the Union Cabinet this week or not.

Birendra Baishya (AGP) said the Telangana decision had had its impact on Assam, and hence the State was burning. He wanted to know the Centre’s stand on demands for separate statehood in respect of Assam. He wanted to know whether any thinking had gone into the Government decision on Telangana.

Biswajit Dalmary (BPF) favouring Bodoland from Assam insisted that the Government had taken a decision on Telangana. But it should also similarly take a decision on Bodoland in Assam. His party, he said, was in favour of smaller States. After Telangana the Government should decide on Bodoland.

Sukhendu Shekhar Roy (TMC) said the Telangana announcement had opened Pandora’s Box. There were demands for creation of 20 new States. He wanted to know the Centre’s stand on the creation of Gorkhaland. The decision on Telangana had been taken without taking on board the concerns of the people of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, he said.

D Raja (CPI) claimed that then Union Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel decided to send the Army only after the Telangana Armed Struggle launched by the CPI. He sent in the Army and integrated the erstwhile Hyderabad State with the Indian Union. He recalled the role of leaders like Ravi Narayana Reddy and others. Raja said the CPI was quick to realise the genuineness of the demand for separate Telangana and took a decision on supporting separate Telangana.

Naresh Agarwal (SP) said any division was sad, but wondered on what basis Andhra Pradesh had been bifurcated. Opposing the creation of new States, he said an all-party committee should be set up to take a comprehensive decision on issues at stake. For, after Telangana, there was renewed demand for splitting Uttar Pradesh. The country would thus be facing several separatist demands soon. Considering the magnitude of their combined impact, the Centre must reconsider its stand on Telangana, he said.

Kanimozhi (DMK) said it was a sentimental and emotional issue, which had to be handled with sensitivity and care. Students were worried. There was fear in their minds. What was happening to the students there, people living there, people having businesses there? She wondered how such a vital decision could be taken without addressing the concerns of the affected people. DMK supremo M Karunanidhi wondered why the decision was taken at the fag end of the tenure and wondered whether or not they would be able to complete the process in time before the polls.

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