One of the primary and most important responsibility of a Home Minister (at Central and State) is maintanance of law and order. It effectively means that the entire police force reports to the Home Minister. The Home Minister guides the police force during critical law and order situations.
Yesterday, 81 MLAs from Telangana region, belonging to both the Congress and TDP have resigned for the Telangana cause. Amongst them are 11 ministers. Amongst those 11 ministers is the Home Minister of the state, Smt. Sabita Indra Reddy !! So now she resigned as an MLA but not as a minister, but then morality demands that you don't continue as a minister after resigning as MLA, otherwise what big cause are you fighting for?
On the other hand, you took an oath saying you will preserve law and order. And now you are part of the group that has precipitated the situation and emboldened Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) to call for a 48 hour bandh. Given the past violence during such bandhs, this 48 hour bandh is a critical law and order problem - so which sides do your loyalty lie Madam Home Minister? Will the police force now report to you on their plan of action? Will you guide them to enforce law strictly or will you ask them to go lightly on those who will break the law? Does the police force have enough clarity in what to do and enough trust in reporting back to you? Are these not important questions that should bother citizens and law makers alike (it should bother the media too, but ...) ? Will you take responsibility for the ensuing chaos?
11 ministers out of a cabinet of 38 have resigned as MLAs (breaking news is that a 12th guy resigned too). If news reports are to be believed, they will not be discharging their duties One more minister is the president of the state congress too - so all his time will go into overcoming this crisis. So we have 12 non-functional ministers now (. Am pretty sure atleast half of the other 26 ministers will be busy discussing this political situation :D. If this is not called stagnation (or maybe should we call it, a halt) in governance, then what is?
81 MLAs in an Assembly of 294 have resigned. State Panchayat Raj Minister, Mr. K. Jana Reddy (who incidentally was the Home Minister in YSR1.0 government from 2004-2009) enlightens us that this is not a crisis. Really, Mr. Jana? If this is not a crisis, then what is??
Andhra Pradesh has been plagued by such stagnant governance since the December 2009 agitation. We do not know how long the latest crisis will last. Could be days, could be weeks. Leave political uncertainty, the uncertainty in governance is so glaring that it has ceased to surprise us anymore. The stagnation started with the death of YSR, compounded by his son Jagan's belligerent stance, multiplied because of the Telangana agitation and has consistently only grown ever since. A change in the Chief Minister didn't help (all we see is huge posters of this guy telling us what all he "achieved"). A new state Congress president was appointed and it was celebrated as if the 11th incarnation of god happened! With these changes, a power struggle between the CM and the new chief ensued (the new chief even held review meetings with ministers and officials!) - the end result is more stagnation (halt)!
In the initial phases of this agitation, the alarming regularity with which bandhs were called was frustrating. After a couple of them, most of us started defying them and moved on. However, these bandhs are now intermittent. Each time a bandh call is given, first there is mad rush at petrol bunks, throwing traffic management haywire!
Second and most importantly - schools and colleges are closed. For every bandh call, for every single rumour of a disturbance in the city, schools and colleges are closed. And no single political leader is even worried about how these kids will cope up on lost time. Last year, engineering colleges lost about a month because of these agitations (even exams were postponed), but guess what this one month was not compensated in the final semester! This is just one example of the results of no governance in the state.
A compliant media, both at the state and centre, has confined itself to reporting and hyping up parts of the agitation. This blogger has himself been in one of the shops that were attacked, back then. This blog piece details how the media created some unbelievable hype and led to supreme chaos. The way violence was projected as movement was nauseating to say the least. No one seems to be bothered about this facet either.
Week over week, we see ministers closeted with MLAs and loud mouthed MPs, discussing and plotting "future course of action". No minister, I repeat, no minister ever addressed the press on "future course of action" pertaining to his ministry with such regularity. No one, literally no one wants to discuss the fall-out of this stagnation (halt) in governance. Assuming that this "crisis" will be resolved, what is the guarantee that those ministers will work with commitment desired? What is the guarantee that a similar crisis will not "erupt" again?
And the lesser we talk about the steps taken to resolve this stagnation(halt), the better. The one person responsible for this entire chaos - Sonia Gandhi ( read here, why she alone is responsible) , has not uttered a single word till now. Apparently, the Prime Minister has called for an urgent meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs last night. CCPA consists of the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Finance Minister + Moily, Antony, Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, and Dayanidhi Maran. Not one face from the state on whose political future the debate is happening!