The following article was written for Niti Central. Posting it here for reference.
Either they move too slowly or they move too fast! Both are pretty dangerous ways of arriving at an amicable solution to pressing problems, but then what can we really expect from the Congress-led UPA Government?
We refer to the Group of Ministers’ deliberations on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. For nearly 80 days, the Congress did nothing. And now that the GoM has become a beehive of activity, they have invited all Andhra Pradesh parties to come and meet them. The GoM’s generosity is quite evident as they’ve allotted a whopping 20 minutes to each party to put forth their views. The BJP demanded that the Centre first come clean on what its answers are to various contentious issues. It demanded some information from the GoM, which the GoM is yet to give. The TDP has boycotted the GoM and other parties too have stuck to their position on the issue.
The Congress, in tune with its consistent chicanery, has submitted two reports to the GoM, one for and one against the bifurcation. The PCC chief justified this by saying that the Congress units of both the regions have always been consistent with their demands and therefore the Congress as a whole is speaking in one voice! It took people a while to digest what was being said, but since the PCC chief is known to come up with such amazing logical explanations, most simply gave up.
The meetings did not last beyond a few minutes, clearly outing the intentions of the GoM. It will now be on record that the parties’ views were sought — so that they can later say that ‘everyone was consulted’! The GoM is meeting the secretaries of various departments, and is scheduled to meet the AP Chief Minister, N Kiran Kumar Reddy tonight at 8pm.
The Chief Minister, as we all know, is dead against the State’s bifurcation. This will be another futile attempt by him to convince his partymen on the perils of such a move! Meanwhile, the State Government is sending out various reports on how to deal with the impending bifurcation. There is severe criticism of the CM that while on the one hand he says that he will fight tooth and nail to ensure a united Andhra, on the other, his officials are sending out detailed reports to the Centre.
The GoM is again scheduled to meet on the November 18 to perhaps prepare a summary. News channel NDTV quoting sources reported that the Cabinet will take up the draft Telangana Bill on November 21. Since it is NDTV, it can quite safely be assumed that the source is quite reliable. Local papers have therefore calculated that the Bill will come up for discussion in the Assembly on November 25 and 26.
It is now confirmed that Digvijay Singh lied to the people of the State when he said that the Assembly resolution will be sought first. Unfortunately, he doesn’t feel any qualms about deluding the people of the State and keeping them in the dark about the facts on Telangana. It is our pity that this Congress leader lectures us on a daily basis on the impending bifurcation of the State, even as there are reports that a new Telangana PCC and Seemandhra PCC will be formed, with some names even being leaked to the media. The Congress supremo, Sonia Gandhi and her Government have continued to confound the people of Andhra Pradesh on this very emotive issue.
Assuming the date of November 21 when the draft Telangana Bill is to be purportedly taken up for discussion by the Cabinet is true, all eyes are now again on the GoM and its report. Will the GoM provide clarity? Or will they again hoodwink the people? As mentioned earlier, things are moving way too fast now — definitely not a good sign on what lies in store for Andhra!