Friday, September 20, 2013

51 days of unrest, no clarity yet!

The following article has been written for Niti Central. Reproducing it here for reference. 
It has been 51 days since the Congress Working Committee announcement favouring the splitting up of Andhra Pradesh was made. We were then told that the whole process can even be completed in 180 days! We were told that the first step in this process was preparing of a Cabinet note but even that step isn’t complete yet!
Over the last 50 days, in various articles, we have explained to you in detail how Sonia’s Congress is compounding confusion prevalent in the minds of the people of Andhra Pradesh. Instead of trying to assuage and soothe emotions, Congress still continues to operate on the same modus operandi — leak randomly, stir a discussion, and then disown the leak!
The latest in this leak saga is that the Cabinet note will recommend that an empowered GoM will take a final decision on the various contentious issues being raised! Now we are just waiting for the next leak which will say the exact opposite of this leak!
There is a Cabinet meeting scheduled for Friday and the bifurcation of AP is not listed in the business. There was another leak which said that the Cabinet will discuss the issue before the PM leaves for US on September 27. Now, we are left in the lurch again on when this will happen.
One newspaper reports that Ahmed Patel told leaders from Seemandhra that perhaps this decision was taken in haste! The Home Minister tells us that they are examining 2-3 options regarding Hyderabad. One week the leak says Hyderabad will become a Union Territory; the next week another leak says the proposal has been dropped! Is this the manner in which we expect the Government to tackle the issue? Change decisions every week?
Ever since this announcement was made, the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions have been burning. Nearly 7 lakh Government employees have been striking for more than a month. The Andhra Pradesh High Court took a very serious view of this strike. It has even questioned the Government as to why it is being very lenient on such a serious issue?
The basis on which the High Court posed this query to the Government has very strong foundations. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister (who is from Congress), Kiran Kumar Reddy, has himself raised a banner of revolt against his own high command. In the few instances that he decided to communicate with the people, he made it more than clear that he is dead against the bifurcation. Various news reports have also told us that he is scheming to defeat the motion to split the State when it comes up in the State Assembly! And because he supports the United AP agitation, there is widespread criticism that this is the precise reason why he is going easy on those who are on strike!
Day in and day out, we see lakhs of ordinary people out on the streets protesting against Sonia Gandhi and her decision to split the State! Schools and colleges have pretty much remain closed for this duration. Thousands of buses are not plying. Recently, employees of electricity department went on a 72 hour strike, plunging many villages into darkness!
Starting September 23, agitators want to intensify this struggle and have called for various types of bandhs (some even lasting for a maximum of seven days!).
The much-hyped Antony Committee is yet to visit the State. It looks to be sitting in Delhi and meeting a handful of Congress leaders, the committee is content with writing out whatever these leaders are telling them! All we get to hear is more leaks from Government committees!
Such a turmoil is something the State has not seen in a long long time. Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary leadership. Instead, we get a mute leadership content with just leaking random ideas to the media. Please remember that the issue has been hanging in balance now for 51 days. FIFTY-ONE DAYS!


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