The following article was written for Niti Central. Reproducing it here for reference.
It has been more than 206 hours since Sonia Gandhi (through Congress Working Committee resolution) announced her decision to split the State of Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, since the announcement came, the Andhra Pradesh has been burning and the Chief Minister is still yet to communicate with the people of the State. He is yet to come out and explain the reasons behind this turmoil and how his administration plans to handle it. Wonder, what or who is stopping him from communicating to the people?
Meanwhile, the multiple Government departments have given notices for indefinite strike. Strangely, some are striking for a united State and some are striking for a quick split! Following is a brief list of departments (within and outside the Government) that have given strike notice.
1. Andhra Pradesh Non Gazetted Officers Association: A whopping total of 3 lakh employees of the government under the aegis of APNGOA will strike work from the midnight of 12th August. Their strike will continue till all (please bold this) elected representatives from Seemandhra resign.
2. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation: All the buses of the RTC will go off roads from August 12 onwards across the entire state!The Telangana employees want a quick resolution and the Seemandhra employees want a united state! Already, buses are not leaving depots in some districts in Seemadndhra. Only the night services of RTC are currently active in this region. Incidentally, the Pradesh Congress Committee chief is the Transport minister of the state!
3. Revenue Department: Employees of the Revenue Department will go on a indefinite strike starting August 12. This essentially means that all kind of real estate deals will come to a grinding halt.
4. Singareni Colleries: Coal workers at the Singareni Colleries are planning to strike work demanding that the Central Government introduce the T Bill in the current Session of Parliament only! The deadline given by them is August 22, 2013. The last time they did this,the State plunged into a severe power crisis.
5. All colleges and schools in the Seemandhra region have been shut down since the last 8 days. For now, they have announced shutdown till the Aug 12, 2013. Schools and college students are also taking part in various United AP rallies.
6. Telangana Joint Action Committee: The T-JAC has announced that it will start rallies from next week demanding that the Congress put an end to this uncertainty as soon as possible.
7. Small business shop owners are unable to transact full business hours. Banks are unable to fill up ATMs with cash – thereby causing severe inconvenience to consumers.
Amidst all this, what does her highness Sonia Gandhi do? She constitutes a high-level committee within the Congress to study the demands of the only the Seemandhra Congress leaders. In an earlier article, we have detailed the various conflicting demands of these leaders, but let’s now take a look at how Sonia Gandhi is going in the reverse direction to resolve this issue.
1. First, she first announces that the Congress will split Andhra Pradesh.
2. Her own MP’s from Seemandhra openly complain that they were not even taken into confidence before this announcement.
3. Then, she meets them and tells them that this decision is final and there is no going back.
4. They persist.
5. She now sets up a high-level committee that will listen to these various demands and then submit a report.
6. Union ministers from Seemandhra claim that till the report is submitted, the process of splitting the state will be halted.
7. Sonia Gandhi does not setup any deadline for submission of this report – thereby throwing the whole state into another round of confusion!
The questions on everyone’s mind are:
1. Why was this committee not setup earlier?
2. This is a Congress specific committee – so, where will the leaders of other parties go with their demands?
3. Digvijay Singh informed that the Union Government will set up a committee that will discuss and finalise modalities – if so, why the two committees? Why this exclusive privilege to Congressmen when many apolitical people are also involved in the struggle?
Many people are being put to severe hardships because of these never ending protests and compounding confusion by Sonia Gandhi. The danger of Andhra Pradesh seeing protest rallies in all its 23 districts is no more imaginary – it might turn out to be real as soon as next week only. It is baffling to note that the ‘national media’ has all but taken Andhra Pradesh off their radar. Even more baffling is the deafening silence of the Chief Minister, Prime Minister and the Super PM.