Friday, September 20, 2013

Airtel SIM Free, if you shout...

The following article was written for Niti Central. Reproducing it here for reference. 
UPA chief Sonia Gandhi to media: “The process is underway. There is Anthony Committee. The Government will also setup a committee soon.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visiting Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers Association members: “There is Anthony Committee, please submit all your grievances and representations to it. The committee will guide the Government.”
Sonia Gandhi talks about the Government Committee, and the head of the Government says that party committee will suffice! This epic level confusion summarises everything that is wrong with the way Congress is handling the entire bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh saga. The situation in the State has only worsened since the last time we wrote about it. 

Today is day 30 of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) announcement. Thirty days since Rayalaseema and Andhra regions have been up in arms against Sonia Gandhi’s clarity-less decision. Even today, most parties are are asking the Congress to atleast give a time frame as to when clarity can be expected! It has been over a month and there is a no Cabinet note over the issue. If the process of Cabinet note only is taking so long, how did the genius of Ghulam Nabi Azad even contemplate that the process will be over in 6 months?
Major political parties have all hardened their stance against the Congress. But more importantly, last evening, the Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy in cryptic words, derided the decision making process of his own high command! He said that parties and the Government have to work for the people; in case they don’t do that, then the people will send them home! He has sought to derive strength from Telugu talli(mother of Telugu) to help tide us tide over the crisis! The Hindu is even speculating that he will resign in October once the Bill comes to the Assembly for discussion.
Let’s take a look at what various parties (political and otherwise) are saying/doing:
1. The TDP president has decided to travel with the people. He will start his Atmagourava yatra from September 1. He wishes to bring to the fore the chicanery of the Congress. He has written a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister questioning him about his silence when lakhs of people are on the roads. But then I guess the Prime Minister doesn’t care a fig leaf about the letter or the questions!
This move by Chandra babu to travel amongst the people is being seen as a bold one – given that he still stands by his support for the bifurcation and wants to tour the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, where protests are at their peak for a united State. It definetely augurs well for a leader to communicate with the people – something our Prime Minister doesn’t understand. It remains to be seen what he will be communicating and how people will receive it. More commentary on that after the tour begins.
2. YSRCP president, Jagan Mohan Reddy took up an indefinite fast in jail itself. Last night, he was moved to the Osmania hospital because of falling sugar levels. Actually his mother started the fast and ended it in three days. Jagan asked her to end it, so that he can take it up further! The demand of the YSRCP is ‘Equal Justice or United AP’. They seek clarity from the UPA on the bifurcations process – something that lakhs of people are waiting for! They are now questioning how the capital city can be given away to those who seek a split of the State! YSRCP seems to be gaining traction in the Seemandhra region, because of their pro-united AP stance – something that the Congress is banking on!
3. Central leaders of the BJP are in a bigger hurry than anyone else. Sushma Swaraj demanded that the Centre introduce the Telangana Bill in this Session of Parliament! The demand is ridiculous at so many levels that it is just not worth to counter it here. There is a long process to be followed even before the bill comes to Parliament, so it beats logic as to how the Bill can even be tabled in this Session!
4. Telangana parties and JAC (Joint Action Committee) members are all warning that any attempts to procrastinate will only increase the agitations in this region! They are questioning the intentions of the protesting employee unions and are urging the Centre to expedite the process! Peace rallies and dharnashave already begun – and there is unanimous support that Hyderabad must stay with Telangana only. There is no chance of conceding to the demand that it become a Union Territory!
5. And finally the Congress. The Telangana Congress leaders want the high command to either appoint another Chief Minister or impose President’s rule! Some Rayalaseema leaders are ok with the idea of Rayala-Telangana while some want only a united State. Andhra leaders are insisting on a united State. None less than the Chief Minister has more or less derided his own high command for this decision. Thirty day since they started this confusion, the Congress is in no absolute hurry to even give a basic clarity on issues.
The protests on the streets have only intensified further.
Lakhs of people continue to come onto the roads. School and college students too are taking out rallies. Shops/business remain shut during the day. Four lakh Government employees, two lakh teachers continue to be on strike. Over 1000 of buses continue to be off roads. Thirteen out of the 23 districts in the State continue to suffer, and novel ways of protests are emerging everyday. Sample the image below, which when translated reads:
“Say Jai Samaikyandhra (United AP) thrice, get an Airtel SIM free” ! 

Congress's indecision on Telangana puts Andhra in peril


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