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Telangana formation is an example of Congress's utter lack of statecraft

February 01, 2014 20:04 IST

A well-intentioned cause for the creation of Telangana that fulfils the aspirations of the people has been made controversial on account of the lack of political management, says Arun Jaitley  

The proposal for creation of a separate state of Telangana will now come up before the Parliament. The Bharatiya Janata Party has consistently supported the proposal to create a state of Telangana but at the same time, we believe that justice should be done to the region of Seemandhra. 

The manner in which the Congress party has gone about on the issue displays complete lack of statecraft.

In the year 2000 the National Democratic Alliance government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee decided to create the three states of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Needless to say, the creation of these three states has helped the regions for whose benefit the states were created. The then home minister L K Advani handled the creation of the three states. While the creation of Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand did not face much resistance, there was an initial resistance by the ruling party of Bihar, the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

The home minister held wide consultations with all the states. A comfort level was given to each state that the creation of the new states would not adversely impact upon them. They were assured that the residuary state would be compensated.

Unanimous resolutions were passed by the legislatures of the three states. Thereafter, both Houses of Parliament discussed the issue and by a general consensus approved the creation of the three states. Internal issues with regard to the three new states were also handled carefully.

Dehradun was made the capital of Uttarakhand. The hill region of Almora was compensated by locating the high court at Nainital. Raipur was the capital of Chhattisgarh and the high court was created in Bilapur. The existing buildings were renovated overnight to locate the Sachivalya and the high court premises. There was no dissent. Not a single protest took place in any of the states. As the law minister, I visited all the three states for the inauguration of the high court benches. 

There was an environment of celebration amongst the people. They were grateful to the NDA for having fulfilled the poll promise.

Contradistinct it with what is happening in Andhra Pradesh. Both the regions of Telangana and Seemandhra suspect the intention of the Congress party. Adequate homework has not been done.

The deft political handling required to identify the issues and balance the creation of the new state with a possible sense of injustice that people in Seemandhra may feel has not been done.

Alternatively, both regions are in a state of turmoil. The ruling party itself is on the verge of splitting. The State Legislature has reacted adversely to the Centre’s proposal.

Consensus required within the Congress Party has not been done. A well-intentioned cause for the creation of Telangana that fulfils the aspirations of the people has been made controversial on account of the lack of political management. 

It is still not too late. Interests of both the regions should be factored in and justice should be done with regard to the issues of power, irrigation and eventual creation of new capital for Seemandhra.

A good cause that is badly handled can hurt the cause. I do hope that the needful is done and Telangana sees the light of the day.

Arun Jaitley in New Delhi