Has the Telangana cause been compromised? Many people from the Telangana region are increasingly beginning to feel that political leaders of the region are more concerned about proving which one of them is championing the Telangana cause more than his neighbour rather than joining hands and realizing the dream that the leaders have stoked among the people over the last decade.
“If there was any issue that should have united the TRS, TDP and Telangana Congress leaders, it is the rejection of the resignation of 101 Telangana MLAs by Speaker Nadendla Manohar last week. However, sadly, instead of doing so, the leaders of these parties are busy chalking out strategies to outwit or corner the others claiming to fight for the separate state. At this rate, the chances of Telangana happening under the present leadership appear to be highly unlikely,” said K Ramana Murthy, a native of Karinmagar working in a private firm in the city.
According to Murthy, it was TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao in the company of the Congress who first kindled hope among the people of the region of a separate state when he formed his regional party with the blessings of the Congress. Although all the parties now say they are committed to achieving Telangana, they are more pre-occupied with political one-upmanship than joining hands to deliver their promise, he added.
Among the political parties, it is the Telangana Congress leaders who are emerging as the weakest link in the separate state movement. “Thanks to the high command completely botching up its approach on the issue by promising the state on December 9, 2009, and later negating it, the Telangana Congress leaders have ended up as irrelevant from the high command point of view, suspects in the eyes of the people of the region, and an easy target for the TDP and the TRS to string them like puppets,” rued one Congress leader.
As a result, apart from the rival political parties, the people of the region too are beginning to think that the rejections of the resignations by the Speaker smacks of a deal that safeguards the interests of the UPA government and the Congress high command and gives a way out for the Telangana Congress leaders. “By rejecting the resignations, the Speaker has ensured that there is no threat to the survival of the Manmohan Singh government and the Kiran regime in the state. For the Telangana Congress leaders, caught between an unresponsive high command on the one hand and impatient people on the other, the rejection of the resignation retains their equation with the high command as well as the Houses they represent. Now, they can tell the people that they cannot be labeled as not doing enough for the T cause,” said an expert.
But the other parties too have not emerged unscathed. For the TDP, which had been at the receiving end from the Congress and the TRS over the its policy on Telangana and the aleaders hounded by TRS activists for the last few weeks, the rejection of the resignations has given it new life in the Telangana region. “Instead of urging all the T forces to join hands, the Telangana Forum of the TDP is preoccupied with putting the region’s Congress leaders in the soup. Very clearly, at this stage, the Telangana agitation is more a political game between the Congress, TRS and TDP rather than being an outpouring of the people’s sentiments,” said Kasi Ranga Rao, a Telangana supporter who is increasingly disillusioned over the way the movement is going.
The TRS, meanwhile, is content with the resignation move, of which they have become the champions. “Will Telangana be achieved if all the elected representatives of the region continue to resign and get re-elected? I don’t think so. Things are not moving forward because there is no sincerity,” claimed another die-hard Telangana supporter. Going by the TRS approach, he felt that the regional party would stand to gain as long as the issue is alive.
The Telangana people are disillusioned but have not lost all hope. “The political leadership failed us in 1969, despite the existence then of a strong people’s movement. The present political leadership have also proved by their actions that it is their own interests that they are championing and only using the separate state cause as a stepping stone,” said A Koteshwar Rao, a dejected student from the city. Thus, for the moment though, the Telangana movement is resting in pieces. The leaders, however, insist that they are genuine, and thereby hangs the tale. TOI