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Will Telangana prove to be a master-stroke by Congress?
The decision of the Congress leadership to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh by providing statehood for Telangana region, the first state formed after independence on the basis of people speaking same language, seems to be a master stroke strategy of the party to regain its losing political identity in this state.

Though the party leadership has been delaying a decision on this sensitive issue after winning the 2004 poll having alliance with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which was formed on the single aim of statehood for Telangana, is now forced to take a decision on political compulsion. It may be recalled that Congress had won largest number of Lok Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh in both 2004 and 2009 polls, which facilitated to form UPA government at the center.

Poll
Is creation of Telangana the right decision ?
Yes :
27.42 %
No :
66.13 %
Can't say :
6.45 %
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In the changing political circumstances Congress was forced to fourth place in the state politics and lost hopes of hoping even single digit Lok Sabha seats from the state. In such scenario, winning impressive Sarpanch posts in panchayath elections has given hopes to revive its fortunes. It played its big political trick by suddenly brining Telangana issue into focus.

A month ago, when Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh visited Hyderabad and given assurance to resolve Telangana issue at an earliest, no one took serious as Congress makes such tall claims several times. In the last week of December, 2012, union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde by convening all-party meet in Delhi, announced that would be last serious of consultation and a decision would be taken in a month.

However, several forces with-in Congress prevented him from moving ahead. But this time being seasoned administrator, Digvijay Singh succeeded in making the party to come to a conclusion in a month and giving big relief to all. When he invited Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha and PCC Chief Botsa Satyanarayana to Delhi with a road map on this issue to be presented before Congress Core Committee, everyone felt it was also another delayed tactic.

After this meeting, he simply announced the process of consultation was over and the party working committee needs to take a final decision. Again another Core Committee meeting was held last week, which draw map for calling UPA coordination committee meeting and also party working committee meetings. For the first time, two meetings were called for Tuesday, with a short notice and in a dramatic move decisions were taken.

It is clear that the Congress party’s intention was only to revive its political fortunes in the state ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

As per decision of the Congress working committee, Hyderabad will remain the common capital of the splintered states for 10 years — a balancing act that recognizes Telangana's claim on the city but seeks to soften the blow to the opponents who were also concerned about the investments of coastal Andhra businesses in the capital. The Centre will help AP build a new capital.

There are indications that a mechanism will be created to vest the governor with oversight of law and order in the city: an arrangement that falls short of turning the city into a Union Territory but reassures those worried about a sudden change in its character.

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.

Even now, it is not clear on the status of Hyderabad, being joint capital for the next decade. 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 neither within its boundaries nor along its borders?  

Such a decision may further lead to negligence of development of coastal and Rayalseema regions. The aspirations of Rayalaseema people also need to be taken serious view. Leaders from that region presided over the destiny of Andhra Pradesh for a long period, but the region remains very backward in many ways.

The failure of the leadership, mostly from Rayalaseema to emotionally integrate people from Telangan with other parts of the state in Andhra Pradesh, led to demand for Telangana statehood. Though this demand in the beginning started claiming backwardness of the region, Justice Sri Krishna Commission report made it clear that during last 55 years it was Telangana region developed more at the negligence of Rayalaseema and coastal areas.

All the political leadership should learn a lesson from this bitter experience that more than development, cultural integration and emotional closeness make people from several regions lives in harmony and peace. It is high time for the leadership to begin such sincere attempts even from now.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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