Politicians and intellectuals discuss Telangana question

Politicians and intellectuals discuss Telangana question

These were some of the questions discussed by politicians and intellectuals here today.

"The issue of division of Andhra Pradesh and carving a separate state of Telangana is a burning issue. But, one key question that nobody has clear answers to yet is that if there is an economic case for Telangana at all", said Dr Surjit Bhalla, managing director of Oxus Research and Investments, a New Delhi-based economic research, asset management, and emerging-markets advisory.

He said if any of the economic surveys/studies were to be examined, then, there was no indication that if a state is formed out of a bigger one then it performs better. "My opinion is that even if it (division) is purely from an administrative point of view, it does not come good. An analysis of government schemes floated in the past 20 years indicates that hardly any of them have a progress pattern", Bhalla said in the discussion organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

He said, contrary to claims by politicians, studies indicated that Telangana was one of the fastest growing regions in Andhra Pradesh while Rayalseema was one of the poorest.

Rubbishing the Telangana report by Srikrishna Committe, CPM leader Sudhakar Reddy said the findings were a "wrong diagnosis" of the ground situation. "The report says that if Telangana was created then it would worsen the Maoist situation in Andhra Pradesh. This is not true", the CPM Dy general secretary said.

He was for setting up a states reorganising commission and that this panel give its decision on the issue in Andhra Pradesh and other states after a detailed study and using various parameters. Calling for "emotional integration" between the people of Telangana and other parts of Andhra Pradesh, Congress MP Keshav Rao, who is a strong supporter for separate Telangana state said all the political, geographic and economic differences could be sorted out if there was will among the people.

"In the 70's nearly 72 per cent of jobs were with locals (of Telangana region). This has dipped to just seven per cent at present", he said. Rao had a few months ago said that would not mind quitting his CWC membership for the sake of Telangana, but later softened his stance saying he would abide by the decision of party President Sonia Gandhi on the matter.

Rao was seen as a leader of the Telangana Congress MPs and he led them during a fast undertaken a few months ago for lifting all the police cases filed against pro-statehood students. Following the fast, the Andhra Pradesh Government withdrew the cases.