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Key Stakeholders Discuss Telangana

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  • Key political leaders from Andhra Pradesh share their perspectives on the proposal by the ruling United Progressive Alliance to bifurcate the State into Telangana and Seemandhara at an expert consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy in Hyderabad on September, 21. Photos: Nagara Gopal
    Key political leaders from Andhra Pradesh share their perspectives on the proposal by the ruling United Progressive Alliance to bifurcate the State into Telangana and Seemandhara at an expert consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy in Hyderabad on September, 21. Photos: Nagara Gopal
  • Participants at the expert consultation on Telangana in Hyderabad.
    Participants at the expert consultation on Telangana in Hyderabad.
  • Prof. Yogendra Yadav, member of the Board of Advisors, The Hindu Centre, greets Dr. M. Kodandaram, convenor, all-party Telangana Joint Action Committee, in the presence of Dr. Malini Parthasarathy, Director, The Hindu Centre and Mr. K.T. Rama Rao, General Secretary, Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
    Prof. Yogendra Yadav, member of the Board of Advisors, The Hindu Centre, greets Dr. M. Kodandaram, convenor, all-party Telangana Joint Action Committee, in the presence of Dr. Malini Parthasarathy, Director, The Hindu Centre and Mr. K.T. Rama Rao, General Secretary, Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
  • Aniket Alam (centre), Executive Editor of Economic and Political Weekly, speaks.
    Aniket Alam (centre), Executive Editor of Economic and Political Weekly, speaks.
  • Mr. K.T. Rama Rao (left), in discussion with Mr. Syed Aminul Hasan Jaffri, member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council.
    Mr. K.T. Rama Rao (left), in discussion with Mr. Syed Aminul Hasan Jaffri, member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council.
  • (Left to right): CPI State Secretary K.Narayana, CPI (M) State Secretary B.V.Raghavalu, BJP National Executive member, K.Haribabu, Telangana Rashtra Samiti General Secretary, K.T.Rama Rao, and Lok Satta President, Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan.
    (Left to right): CPI State Secretary K.Narayana, CPI (M) State Secretary B.V.Raghavalu, BJP National Executive member, K.Haribabu, Telangana Rashtra Samiti General Secretary, K.T.Rama Rao, and Lok Satta President, Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan.
  • Telangana Joint Action Committee Chairman, Prof.M.Kodandaram, sharing a lighter moment with Lok Satta president, Dr. Jaya Prakash Narayan, and the Editor of Telugu monthly journal of Political Economy and Society, Veekshanam, N.Venugopala Rao, at the expert consultation.
    Telangana Joint Action Committee Chairman, Prof.M.Kodandaram, sharing a lighter moment with Lok Satta president, Dr. Jaya Prakash Narayan, and the Editor of Telugu monthly journal of Political Economy and Society, Veekshanam, N.Venugopala Rao, at the expert consultation.
  • Telangana Rashtra Samithi general secretary, K.T. Rama Rao (left) with Telangana Joint Action Committee chairman Prof. M. Kodandaram, at the one-day expert consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy to discuss the issues concerning proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad on Saturday.
    Telangana Rashtra Samithi general secretary, K.T. Rama Rao (left) with Telangana Joint Action Committee chairman Prof. M. Kodandaram, at the one-day expert consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy to discuss the issues concerning proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad on Saturday.
  • Amithabha Pande, former Secretary,Inter-State Council, Government of India, participates in the question-and-answer session of the one-day expert consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy to discuss issues concerning the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, in Hyderabad on September 21, 2013.
    Amithabha Pande, former Secretary,Inter-State Council, Government of India, participates in the question-and-answer session of the one-day expert consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy to discuss issues concerning the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, in Hyderabad on September 21, 2013.
  • Fatima Alikhan, retired Professor, Osmania University taking part in the question-and-answer session of the the one-day National Consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy to discuss the issues concerning proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, in Hyderabad, on September 21, 2013.
    Fatima Alikhan, retired Professor, Osmania University taking part in the question-and-answer session of the the one-day National Consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy to discuss the issues concerning proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, in Hyderabad, on September 21, 2013.
  • Former Andhra Pradesh MLA, Chanda Linggaiah Doraa, participating in the question-and-answer session of the the one-day National Consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy to discuss the issues concerning proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, in Hyderabad on September 21, 2013.
    Former Andhra Pradesh MLA, Chanda Linggaiah Doraa, participating in the question-and-answer session of the the one-day National Consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy to discuss the issues concerning proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, in Hyderabad on September 21, 2013.
  • (From left): Professor at Centre for Economic and Social Studies (Hyderabad) Prof.Revathi Ellanki, former Union Finance Secretary and Chief Economic Advisor to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Dr.S.Narayan, former Secretary to Inter-State Council of Government of India Amitabha Pande, former Chief Engineer of Central Water Commission Dr.R.Vidyasagar Rao, and agricultural economist and advisor to the erstwhile Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy Government, D.A.Somayajulu, spelt out their views on how resouces could be shared between Telangana and Seemandhara.
    (From left): Professor at Centre for Economic and Social Studies (Hyderabad) Prof.Revathi Ellanki, former Union Finance Secretary and Chief Economic Advisor to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Dr.S.Narayan, former Secretary to Inter-State Council of Government of India Amitabha Pande, former Chief Engineer of Central Water Commission Dr.R.Vidyasagar Rao, and agricultural economist and advisor to the erstwhile Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy Government, D.A.Somayajulu, spelt out their views on how resouces could be shared between Telangana and Seemandhara.
  • (From left to right): Former MLA from Vijayawada Adusumilli Jayaprakash, Editor of Telugu monthly journal of Political Economy and Society Veekshanam N. Venugopala Rao, Former Chief Secretary, Chhattisgarh andChairman and MD, Kerala Financial Corporation P.Joy Oommen, Freedom fighter, Historian and One of Telengana’s oldest activists Burgula Narsing Rao, Associate Professor of School of Political Studies, JNU, Delhi, Dr. Asha Sarangi, Retired Professor of Political Science of Osmania University Prof Rama Melkote, NALSAR University of Law Prof M. Sridhar and former Director of the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) J. A. Chowdhary, discuss the issues surrounding the status of Hyderabad.
    (From left to right): Former MLA from Vijayawada Adusumilli Jayaprakash, Editor of Telugu monthly journal of Political Economy and Society Veekshanam N. Venugopala Rao, Former Chief Secretary, Chhattisgarh andChairman and MD, Kerala Financial Corporation P.Joy Oommen, Freedom fighter, Historian and One of Telengana’s oldest activists Burgula Narsing Rao, Associate Professor of School of Political Studies, JNU, Delhi, Dr. Asha Sarangi, Retired Professor of Political Science of Osmania University Prof Rama Melkote, NALSAR University of Law Prof M. Sridhar and former Director of the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) J. A. Chowdhary, discuss the issues surrounding the status of Hyderabad.
  • Nalsar University of Law Prof M.Sridhar greets Senior Congress leader Gade Venkata Reddy and Senior Fellow, Centre for Study of Developing Societies, Yogendra Yadav, at the consultation.
    Nalsar University of Law Prof M.Sridhar greets Senior Congress leader Gade Venkata Reddy and Senior Fellow, Centre for Study of Developing Societies, Yogendra Yadav, at the consultation.

Political leaders, academics, experts and other stakeholders from across the spectrum came together today at a consultation organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy to discuss differing viewpoints pertaining to issues thrown up by the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the impending creation of the new state of Telangana.

The dialogue focused on ways to find workable solutions to the various contentious issues that have dogged the process of the demerger of Andhra Pradesh.

The consultation, “Dealing with the Costs of Division: A Dialogue Towards Reconciliation”, was attended by representatives of key political parties. They represented a diverse set of viewpoints and included Mr. K. T. Rama Rao (General Secretary, TRS), Mr. Gade Venkat Reddy (senior State Congress leader), Mr. B. V. Raghavalu (State Secretary, CPI-M), Mr. K. Narayana (State Secretary, CPI), Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan (President, Lok Satta Party), Mr. Syed Aminul Hasan Jaffri (Senior Journalist and Member of the Legislative Council (AIMIM), Mr. K. Haribabu (National Executive Member, BJP), former member of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, Mr. M.V. Mysura Reddy (Senior leader of the YSR Congress), and Mr. M. Gangadhar (Senior Vice-President, Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee). Between them the representatives, policy practitioners and academics discussed possible ways forward on constitutional, administrative and law and order mechanisms for the formation of the new state.

Welcoming the guests, Dr. Malini Parthasarathy, Director of The Hindu Centre, said that the idea behind the consultation was to “bring together the different voices, all undoubtedly genuine in their concern, to see if common ground can be made between the various positions”, in relation to the creation of Telangana. Click here for the full text of the speech.

K. T. Rama Rao of the TRS described the Telangana movement as a genuine people’s movement for a region that has the right to self-determinism within the legal confines of the Indian constitution. He staked a claim to Hyderabad city as the capital of Telangana, saying, “No investor can claim a city to themselves just because they invested there. Cities belong to the people of the region. Hyderabad belongs to Telangana, Hyderabad is in the hinterland of Telangana and cannot be separated from Telangana”.

B.V. Raghavalu (CPI-M), while criticising the Centre for not initiating any process for political reconciliation between the two sides, said that the contending problems, including the status of Hyderabad and the sharing of river waters, would not be solved even if the two states were formed. “A political solution is the first and foremost need of the hour, following which all the contentious issues can be solved through agreement or arbitration”, he said.

K. Haribabu, National Executive Member of the BJP, said that the central government had not taken into consideration any of the disturbances going on in the state after the announcement by the Congress Working Committee, and, called for the central government to clear the apprehensions of the people from other regions. He said that it was incumbent on the government to start a dialogue with the people who are against the creation of Telangana and address their issues so that the division of the state could be easier.

A central theme of the discussion through the day was that the state and central governments could have done more to reach out beyond political parties to allay the fears of the people with regard to the division. Most panelists agreed that when a decision is taken where there is very little common ground, then it is the moral responsibility of the ruling party to reach out to those affected adversely by the decision. It was felt that the need of the hour was to reach out and allay the fears of the people from Seemandhara.

Participants also discussed the historical claims on Hyderabad city and their validity in the present context. There was unanimity on rejecting the idea of Hyderabad as a union territory or as a joint capital. There was also no question of holding a referendum to decide the future status of Hyderabad. The concerns of the people from Andhra and Rayalaseema on matters relating to the law and order, safety and security and fundamental rights of residents of all regions were also discussed and the demographic changes in Hyderabad over the decades were highlighted. Panelists rejected the idea that the capital of the new state should be decided by the central government. Issues pertaining to the sharing of revenues and liabilities of Hyderabad were also deliberated upon.

A fresh perspective emerged from the discussion on the benefits of investing in and building a new capital for Seemandhara as a magnet for investment. Mr. P. Joy Oommen, Former Chief Secretary, Chhattisgarh, and former Chairman of the Naya Raipur Development Authority, shared his experiences of building a new capital for the State of Chhattisgarh, and suggested that a modern capital for Seemandhara could be designed on the lines of Naya Raipur, which was built in seven years.

Other issues that the panelists discussed pertained to irrigation and agriculture, sharing of river waters, taxation, revenue and resources. The participants agreed that until now the political and institutional processes have gone forward along parallel lines and political decisions have been taken with no corresponding institutional initiatives.

Speakers urged the central government to refer the issues related to the sharing of taxes and revenues to the 14th Finance Commission as soon as possible as they felt that this was the only constitutional way forward to deal with the devolution of fiscal resources.

Eminent academics and public intellectuals who attended the consultation included Mr. Yogendra Yadav (Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies), Dr. Asha Sarangi (Associate Professor, School of Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi), Dr. S. Narayan (former Union Finance Secretary and former Chief Economic Advisor to Ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee), Dr. M. Kodandaram, (Chairman, Telangana Joint Action Committee), Government of Andhra Pradesh), Mr. Aniket Alam (Executive Editor of the Economic and Political Weekly) and Mr. Amitabha Pande (former Secretary, the Inter State Council of the Government of India).

Mr. Arun Anant, CEO of Kasturi & Sons Ltd. and Member of the Board of Management, proposed a vote of thanks and said that The Hindu Centre would take forward the outcomes of the proceedings in a constructive way.

Download the report of the consultation here.