The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference.
You have to hand it to the editors at NDTV. For the last 36 days, Andhra Pradesh was burning. Day in and day out, the chicanery of the Congress was being exposed. On Wednesday evening, NDTV’s Left Right and Centre innocently asks: Has the Congress failed to get even it’s own people on board for a new state?
Only the likes of NDTV are capable of rephrasing a plain fact as a question, and make it a debating point! The Chief Minister of the State is impressing upon his Ministers and legislators from the Seemandhra region not to press for resignations. The reason? He says it is crucial that the Bill be defeated in the State Assembly when it comes here, and for that they need the numbers!
So here you have Congress’s own Chief Minister scheming against his own high command and NDTV, ever so innocently asks, “Has the Congress failed to get even it’s own people on board for a new State?”
Notice how the debate begins. Nidhi Razdan, with her trademark serious expression, asks Shashi Tharoor the same question and he replies thus: “I am sorry to say this, but I have been told that I will be participating in a discussion on the Indo-Bangladesh border issue and not on Telangana.”
The seriousness with which Nidhi Razdan’s team approached this issue is quite so evident from this stupid goof-up. Nevertheless, Shashi Tharoor then enlightens us by saying that the process involvesextensive consultations. Multiple articles on NitiCentral on this subject have summarily exposed how the Congress has done the exact opposite of ‘extensive’ consultations.
Then Nidhi Razdan gives us her expert opinion, “We’ve actually been seeing this decision being deferred and deferred and delayed all the time because there has been so many consultations. How much more?” After giving this cue to the TRS leader on the panel, Nidhi then goes on to ask, “But why are people so against the decision?“!
All through the discussion, Shashi Tharoor looks very disinterested. Nidhi suddenly brings him in and he starts his reply with: “Well, I am still here to discuss Indo-Bangladesh border issue.” and then lectures us on how all citizens have an equal right on Hyderabad.
Here’s some advice for Nidhi Razdan. Have Uma Sudhir (who will have a much better understanding of the issue) handle a discussion with proper stakeholders and not uninterested folks like Shashi Tharoor!
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told us on Monday that the Cabinet note on Telangana will be ready in 20 days. Union Ministers and MPs of the Congress from Seemandhra region rushed to meet the Anthony committee last night to ask him if their demands are even being considered, given that a note will be ready in 20 days?
Late last year, Shinde told us that a decision on Telangana will be taken in a month. As the deadline was nearing, we were told by Azad that one month does not mean 30/31 days! The decision came nearly 7 months after the one-month deadline expired! Will the 20-day deadline meet the same fate?
While Digvijay Singh continues to lecture the people of Andhra Pradesh, more Government employees have now joined the strikes! For the last 36 days, thousands of buses have not plied. Lakhs of people are on the roads protesting every single day. The pictures in the newspapers are testimony to the participation of the people. Lakhs of Government employees have been on strike — and I am not at all exaggerating when I say lakhs!
Needless to say, governance has gone for a toss. The wretched power supply problem is back — domestic consumers in various parts of the State have started to take a hit. Ministers have either resigned or have stopped coming to work. The worst part is that the agitations by Government employees have started intensifying in Hyderabad. Every single day, outside various Government offices, employees belonging to Telangana and Seemandhra are resorting to competitive protests! At some places, the police is having a tough time maintaining peace. The divide has intensified so badly that it will take divine intervention to resolve the differences!
It’s a freefall for various political parties too — TDP President Chandrababu Naidu has gone to the people. He is currently touring Seemandhra regions to explain the chicanery of the Congress to the people. He hasn’t announced support for a united State. He still feels bifurcation can be worked out but the process has to be much smoother than what it is now. He is having some trouble explaining this, but at least he is amongst the people and talking — unlike Sonia Gandhi or Manmohan Singh who are neither amongst the people nor talking!
The YSRCP has announced support for a united State. Needless to say, this was part of the Congress gameplan too — that YSRCP will sweep this region and then of course support UPA 3.0! The other parties in the State have more or less nothing to do right now!
The stage is now being set for a showdown in the Assembly. This much is evident from the patience being advocated by the Chief Minister. It is expected that some time in October, the Union Cabinet will send its resolution to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly — and the fireworks will only intensify again.
It is very important to note that the Congress has failed to bring its own people onboard. It has also miserably failed in communicating well with the people of this country and continues to demonstrate it’s arrogance by having Digvijay Singh still lecture the people of the State.