The Congress party’s unsound understanding of the Telangana issue and its electoral blunder will assure the opening up of a huge jar of worms across the country.
Two reasons emerge to have dominated the Congress party’s decision to split Andhra Pradesh. One is its understanding of the nature and vigour of the Telangana demand and demonstration. And second is, of course, its electoral arithmetic.
The Congress Working Committee has moved away from its former position on the Telangana demand. In 2001, it determined to form a new States Reorganization Commission (SRC) to study numerous such demands across the country.
While the party’s understanding of the demonstration is faulty, the electoral risk by its strategists may prove to be a costly error.
There were numerous misrepresentations, falsehoods, distortions and half-truths about the Telangana movement that gained currency. The Congress high command appears to have gulped the misinformation of the separatists that the region is backward, exploited, and subjugated by the people from the Coastal and Rayalaseema regions; that the demonstration is six-decade old; that the Telangana culture is different from the rest of the Telugus; that in history they were never together with Telugu people from other two regions; and that the Telangana people spoke a different language.
A cautious reading of the Justice Srikrishna Committee Report and a sheer glance at financial data, history, political developments and the cultural story of the state and the region would have exposed that the claims and allegations of the agitation are unproven.
The electoral performance of the parties that contended on a separatist stage is also unimpressive and irregular since 2004.
The decision is doubtful to yield considerable electoral profits in 2014 to the Congress. Telangana’s electoral pie is small with 17 seats. The Congress will face hard competition from several parties and end up with a small share of seats. In the Coastal and Rayalaseems regions, the electoral pie is larger with 25 seats. Here the party is expected to be rooted out because of its decision to split the state.
While the benefits for the Congress in Telangana are prone to be vague and little, the losses in the other two regions appear to be sure and huge.
The Congress party’s unsound understanding of the Telangana issue and its electoral blunder will assure the opening up of a huge jar of worms across the country. We already see a enveloping scream for the formation of new states for numerous parts of the country. These are only expected to swell in strength and figure.