Two years on, Telangana statehood issue remains unresolved
It was on December 9 exactly two years ago that the central government announced that the "process for carving out a separate state of Telangana" was being initiated but it has not moved a few steps beyond that.
The fallout of Home Minister P Chidambaram's statement on Telangana forced the government of India to constitute a five-member Justice Srikrishna Committee to look into the statehood demand. The panel submitted its report within the prescribed period (December 31, 2010).
But the situation in the state has polarised so much that the political leaders of the two regions (Telangana and Andhra-Rayalaseema) are not seeing eye-to-eye and an uneasy relationship prevails on the ground.
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Image: A march in support of Telangana
'Hypocrisy of all political parties exposed'
State ministers hailing from one region have stopped visiting the other region apparently fearing a backlash from the public.
"It is undeniable that a hostile atmosphere grew between the two regions of the state in the last two years. Also, the hypocrisy of all the political parties (on the statehood issue) has been exposed to the people," political commentator Prof G Haragopal said.
"The December 9, 2009, statement by Chidambaram had created new hopes and aspirations among the people of Telangana and also led to many unexpected developments. Unrest grew among people as their aspirations were not realised even as the political parties have been pushed into an existential crisis," Haragopal said.
Developments in the last two years have taught a "new political lesson" to the people of Andhra Pradesh and also created the need for emergence of a new political force, the academic remarked.
On the other hand, the economic loss suffered by the state because of the statehood imbroglio has been immeasurable.
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Image: Home Minister P Chidambaram
'State has lost Rs 30,000 cr in 2 years due to the agitation'
The revenue loss to the state government in just the 2010-11 financial year was a whopping Rs 9,652 crore. Sources in the state finance department say the amount could be well over Rs 15,000 crore between December 2009 and now.
"Both the government and the private sectors suffered a loss of Rs 30,000 crore in the last two years because of the agitation for a separate state," Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi pointed out, a fact endorsed by industrialists.
"The ambiguity and indecisiveness on part of the government is hurting more and stifling growth. The negative impact of all this will be felt more in coastal Andhra in future," Confederation of Indian Industry leader Y Harishchandra Prasad noted.
Not a single industry worth the name has come up either in Telangana or in other parts of the state in the last two
years, whereas several multi-national companies like Peugeot changed their track to neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.