'Not enough time to bring Bill'

'Not enough time  to bring Bill'

Nalamotu Chakravarthy, president of Visalandhra Mahasabha (VMS), a pro-united Andhra Pradesh organisation,  is a strong votary against division of the state.

A management consultant and MBA from Columbia University, Chakravarthy, who hails from the Telangana region, recently came out with a book, “My Telugu Roots.” He spoke to Deccan Herald’s JBS Umanadh on the current strife that has engulfed large parts of Seemandhra. Excerpts:

What is the argument of VMS in support of Unified Andhra Pradesh?

The state of Andhra Pradesh was formed as per the wishes of people of all the three regions – Telangana, Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. People of Telangana were not against merger.  The state was constituted after two-thirds of Telangana legislators favoured merger. It is not true that Fazal Ali commission (First State Reorganisation Commission) opposed merger – it put forth a case for merger after 5 years.
While the argument of Telangana think tank is based on a platform of lies, we have been stressing more on the common cultural background of Telugu people. We have time and again showed that the economic underdevelopment parameters propounded by Telangana protagonists are false. Their argument was effectively squashed by the Srikrishna committee. I know that TRS and Joint Action Committee say that Srikrishna committee is biased but Justice Srikrishna is a very senior judge of high credibility.

The government says that its decision on Telangana is final, don’t you think it is too late for a U-turn?

It is not final. There is a long road ahead. Article 3 of the Constitution stipulates that Bill has to come to Assembly for its opinion. If AP Assembly rejects the resolution, it will go back to the President. We see a sympathiser in President Pranab Mukherjee, who is well aware of the Darjeeling issue in his home state. If it is tabled in the Lok Sabha, we hope the SP, DMK and Trinamool will oppose the bill. We hope that  the BJP will not vote in favour as bifurcation benefits only the Congress which might get 11 to 12 seats in Telangana leaving very little chance for the BJP. I still feel the Centre will not have enough time to bring the Telangana Bill.

We have toured all over 13 Seemandhra districts in the last 60 days. The situation is grave. Bifurcation will only rake up issue of capital for Seemandhra. There are divergent views in choosing a capital acceptable to all.  Kurnool, Vijayawada or Visakhapatnam, each city has its merits and demerits. River water, employment, and the issue of official carrier APSRTC, which has all its valuable assets in Hyderabad and services in Seemandhra, will be difficult to solve for the incumbent government.

How do you see the unification stance taken by chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy?

His role after July 30 decision was credible. We welcome his stand. He stood up against his party’s decision. The Congress will not dare remove him. The Seemandhra region will flare up is he is removed.

If the new state is not given, then what will happen in Telangana?

There is a difference in Telangana and Seemandhra agitations. While the Telangana agitation was controlled by political parties, Seemandhra agitation is managed by the people of the region who felt cheated and deprived.

That is why there is no slowing down even after 70 days. Political leaders have failed to capture and lead the Seemandhra agitation. No one is actually leading the agitation there. If the agitation in Telangana was organized, in Seemandhra it was spontaneous.

How Visalandhra Mahasabha can turn the tables?

Not all the people in Telangana are against united AP. Lokniti and Neilson surveys have shown that 50 per cent of people in Telangana favour a unified AP. We have done our own work and realized that 70 per cent of people in Mahbubnagar and Khammam districts of Telangana are against bifurcation. It is more or less the same in Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts. Whereas, in the other two regions of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra 95 per cent are against bifurcation. Only few districts in Telangana are totally behind bifurcation. So, we are hopeful that we still have a fair chance to create an atmosphere where in people could express their wish without fear forcing the Union government to reverse its decision.

But your earlier efforts were thwarted by Telangana agitators, can you still make an impact?


We try to create awareness and provide the background for our argument and political parties should take up mass movement.

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