The year when Telangana state became a reality

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel December 29, 2014 11:33

The year when Telangana state became a reality


Hyderabad, Dec 29  The year just ending will go down in history as the one which brought the curtain down on Andhra Pradesh, which has existed for 58 years, and the one which fulfilled long-cherished aspirations of people of Telangana for their own state.

Telangana came into existence as India’s 29th state on June 2 following some dramatic developments during the passage of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in parliament.

While the backward region erupted in joy over a nearly six-decade-long dream coming true, it was gloom in Andhra Pradesh for a brief period, but Telugu-speaking people finally reconciled to the reality of two states. Beginning their journey on a rough note, the two states are only now getting down to business.

The year 2014 began amid intensified efforts by the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to divide Andhra Pradesh before its term ended in May. The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, approved by the union cabinet last December, was sent to the Andhra Pradesh legislature, which was asked to give its views by Jan 23.

The bill, brought to Hyderabad in a special aircraft, was introduced in both houses of the state legislature amid clashes between legislators from Seemandhra (as Rayalaseema and Andhra region are collectively called) and Telangana. After several days of disruptions, the debate on the bill finally began.

Strongly opposing the bifurcation and raising the banner of revolt against the ruling Congress, then chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy moved a resolution in the assembly to reject the bill.

Amid ruckus, both houses of the state legislature on Jan 30 passed by a voice vote official resolutions rejecting the bill and appealing to the president not to send it to Parliament. Reddy even staged a sit-in in Delhi to press his demand.

The union cabinet on Feb 7 cleared the bill, which was passed in both houses of Parliament the same month amid unprecedented scenes – like L. Rajagopal, an MP from Seemandhra, using pepper spray in the Lok Sabha.

The government announced in parliament a package to assuage the hurt feelings of Seemandhra leaders. However, Reddy resigned as the chief minister and quit the Congress. The centre imposed president’s rule in the state.

In March, the president gave his assent to the bill, which brought curtains on Andhra Pradesh, which had come into existence on Nov 1, 1956, with the merger of the areas that make up Telangana with the then Andhra state.

Despite carving out a Telangana state, the Congress received a huge setback as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) refused an alliance with it. Claiming credit for the formation of the new state, TRS reaped the political benefits by storming to power in the assembly elections in May.

TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who had revived the Telangana movement in 2000 by floating the party, was sworn in as the first chief minister of the new state on June 2.

KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, promised to deliver ‘golden Telangana’ and to undo the injustice done to the region in the past.

The Congress had to face the wrath of the Seemandhra people as it was completely wiped out in the assembly elecctions. The people reposed faith in the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), whose president N. Chandrababu Naidu formed the government on June 8.

Naidu, who holds the record of the longest serving chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh (1995-2004), took oath at a public ceremony near Vijayawada, a region where he has now embarked on developing the new capital. Naidu, who claims credit for developing Hyderabad into an economic and IT hub, embarked on building the new state from scratch. Promising to overcome all challenges, he vowed to transform Andhra Pradesh into a Singapore. He even visited the city-state and the authorities to plan and design the new capital.

Last month, Naidu also visited Japan to woo several firms to invest in the state and especially participate in building the new capital.

However, it took several weeks for the two governments to get down to business as acrimony marked the bifurcation of government employees. Even the allocation of all India service officials, like those of the IAS, IPS and IFS, to the two states was completed only last week.

With Hyderabad being declared the common capital for a period of not more than 10 years, the two governments had to share the infrastructure at the secretariat, legislature and other key offices.

The two states sparred over sharing river waters, electricity and assets and liabilities. They continue to accuse each other of violating the Reorganisation Act.

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel December 29, 2014 11:33