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'Secret' note on how to delay Telangana issue

News18

Updated: March 24, 2011, 6:03 PM IST
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'Secret' note on how to delay Telangana issue
Srikrishna report recommends in a 'secret' note steps to keep Telangana issue under check.

Hyderabad: The Justice Srikrishna Committee report has recommended in a "secret" supplementary note steps the Centre should take to keep the Telangana statehood issue under check in Andhra Pradesh.

The supplementary note remained a "secret" till yesterday before Justice L Narasimha Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh High Court made it public through his judgement on a writ petition filed by former MP M Narayan Reddy.

The secret supplementary note contained a "political management" plan recommended by the Committee to the Union Home Ministry.

"There is a need for ensuring unity among the leaders of the ruling party in the state. There is also a need for providing strong and firm political leadership and placement of representatives of Telangana in key positions, may be CM/Deputy CM (Since done. This aspect was discussed with FM & HM in September, 2010)," the secret note says.

This, of course, did not happen as the Committee presumed while submitting its report to the Centre. Though the Congress promised in December last to appoint a Telangana leader as Deputy Chief Minister, it is yet to be fulfilled because of internal differences within the party.

The judge, in his verdict yesterday, pointed to this, observing, "At a time when the Committee was giving final touches to its report, a new Chief Minister was sworn in with some changes in the Cabinet.

"There was a serious speculation and talk that a legislator from Telangana is going to be made the Deputy Chief Minister, so much so, his name was also announced from Delhi. The Committee appears to have proceeded as though the said legislator was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister."

The secret supplementary note reads: "Action also needs to be initiated for softening the TRS to the extent possible, especially in the context of the fact that TRS has threatened to launch a civil disobedience movement after December 31 and also initiate a 'Maha Yuddham' (a massive war) if the Centre does not announce a separate Telangana.

"Gaddar s TPF (Telangana Praja Front) who had parted company with TRS have again joined hands with TRS. Inputs indicate that this agitation can be tackled if Congress leaders do not give an impression indicating any covert/overt support to it.

"Hence the Congress MPs/MLAs need to be taken into confidence and asked not to lend any form of support to the agitation. The Congress high command must sensitise its own MPs and MLAs and educate them about the wisdom for arriving at an acceptable and workable solution. With the ruling party and main opposition party (for Telangana demand) being brought on the same page, the support mechanisms have a higher probability of becoming successful."

While the Centre or the Congress could not fully succeed in "softening" the TRS, the party succeeded to a large extent in silencing its Telangana MPs and MLAs though one or two MPs like K Keshava Rao and Madhu Yashki Goud continue to make noises over the issue.

Justice Narasimha Reddy observed: "That the Committee travelled beyond the terms of reference in its endeavour to persuade the Union of India, not to accede to the demand for Telangana, is demonstrated in the supplementary note, appended to the note, representing Chapter-VIII.

"The Committee comprised two jurists, two social scientists and an ex-bureaucrat to studythe situation and submit report covering legal and social dimensions of the issue. None of them were supposed to have any political leanings, or for that matter, political tendencies. Unfortunately, the portion extracted above makes one to feel whether it fits into any terms of reference to the Committee at all.

"The above analysis would find even political scientists and sociologists in wilderness and persuade them to add new chapters to political sciences and public administration. None of these aspects could have been put on paper by a given ruling party, even if it is desperate. Still you do not have a basis for this exercise. It does not even reflect political expediency. At the most it manifests political despondency," the judge commented.

The Committee s note also said, "Further, on receipt of the Committee s report by the government, a general message should be conveyed amongst the people of the state that the Centre will be open for detailed discussions on the recommendations/options of the report with the leaders/stakeholders concerned either directly or through a Group of Ministers or through important interlocutors and that this process will start at the earliest."

First Published: March 24, 2011, 6:03 PM IST
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