The Lone Ranger …
In the midst of all the chaos, at the heart commotion and all the unruly scenes in the parliament there was one voice that tried its best to ensure equal justice to both the regions of AP. It was Shri Venkayya Naidu, the way he spoke in the parliament yesterday is a lesson to most of the people who were raising empty slogans.
See, Telangana is an idea whose time has come, come what may, keeping the state united is out of question now. There is a psychological divide between people and if not today at least in the future there will be a divide. The ideal step for the parties in this time was to press for the benefits of Seemandhra.
The center did not speak of a single step that would have done real justice to the people of Rayala Seema or Coastal Andhra. (At least it looked so). The PM and chief of UPA did not bother to address the Telugus and the Nation on this. With their own CM rebelling and their own MP’s stalling the house it was too chaotic and as a person from the residual AP I was really furious and emotionally unstable with the proceedings.
What added fuel to the fire was the way the bill got passed in Loksabha and to say the least I was extremely disappointed with the way the principal opposition and its leader Smt. Sushma Swaraj ji behaved. She did not bring in any amendments to safe guard the interests of the people in all the regions of AP. Her speech too was not that encouraging. For a person like me who has little hope in Congress and frustrated with tactics of parties like YSRCP, it was TDP ,BJP and LSP (Lok Satta Party ) that I was looking up to.
Lok Satta does not have a presence in Parliament and TDP which had a presence limited itself to protests. While Chandrababu Naidu was advocating equal justice and meeting national leaders, the TDP MP’s from Rayala Seema and Coastal Andhra were limiting themselves to protesting inside the house. So, at least in my view the onus of this was on BJP, the principal opposition in the country.
Sushmaji really let me down with her speech and behavior in Loksabha, I was really worried on the way the things would shape up in Rajya Sabha. However, the way Venkayya Naidu and Shri Arun Jaitley handled things was awesome. While maintaining that he and his party would support the bill, Naidu practically showed stars in broad day light to the central government. He was debating clause after clause and issue after issue. He pointed out the revenue deficit for the residual state, spoke about the special status that must be accorded to the state for the next 10 years. He spoke about the power deficit for Telangana region, spoke about the need of PSU’s in the residual state. He spoke about the troubles and travails the new state would have with respect to employment generation. He spoke about the loss in monetary terms to the residual state as it would lose a capital city like Hyderabad. He also spoke about making Polavaram a national project and the reminded center that it was key for the growth of the residual state.
He did not limit himself to speaking, he did not relent till he had specific assurances from the group of Ministers. From the looks of the home minister Mr Shinde and GOM member Mr. Jairam Ramesh had a very very tough time pacifying him. Naidu did not give up till they made specific assurances and committed that the of Government of India will take care of the Polavaram project, bridge the fiscal deficit of the state for the first year and even between the appointed date and the full fledged union budget for 2014-2015. He showed that he is a fighter when he protested against the chair for hurrying proceedings, he also protested against PM for limiting the special status to AP for just 5 years.
Are these assurances enough for the residual state to develop? Well I cannot say a yes whole heartedly . However, without the efforts of Naidu probably we would not get at least this much. Can you at least for a moment believe that the PM would have spoken about the bifurcation if not for the strong protest and demand by the BJP. At least I would not believe that.
The way Venkayya Naidu and BJP team worked in Rajya Sabha is something I feel must be appreciated. Thank you. If only the other MP’s from AP did it, things would have been different but then they had different thoughts and they wanted to stop the bifurcation altogether.
Check this pic from Andhrajyothy