The Telangana protests intensify after a brief lull as pro-Telangana activists clash with police in Hyderabad. With the 2014 elections drawing nearer, parties have started promising statehood, something that has alluded the region ever since Independence. CNN-IBN's consulting editor Veeraraghav TM joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the Telangana protests.
Q. Do you think Congress will bow down to these protests and give statehood so that its seats do not go down drastically in south? Asked by: Sathyaki
A. It seems the congress remains averse to the idea though it's view is fluctuating. But whichever way it goes the congress's seats in AP will go down drastically compared to 2004. The question though is whether the Telengana political leadership is genuine to the cause. I am increasingly being informed of severe levels of corruption in the TRS and even among student leaders
Q. Seemandhra is drifting towards Jagan. So Congress can take the risk and give statehood. Asked by: Sathyaki
A. The reality is more complicated than that. too many variables and there is a risk on either side. But a decision should not be taken only on electoral considerations.the decision should be on what is just and what is not and what the peoples sentiment is.
Q. Will Telangana issue wipe-out the Congress in Telangana region? Asked by: Hanmi Reddy
A. If they do not concede a Telangana they are bound to loose heavily in the region.
Q. Will Narendra Modi led BJP be able to gain from Telangana? Asked by: Hanmi Reddy
A. Modi and the BJP are irrelevant in the region.
Q. What factors do you think stopping formation of Telanagana state when overwhelming majority in that area supporting Telangana state. Do you thing Hyderabad is really contentious issue when the history indicates it was always with Telangana and not seen as separate entity (seen as part of Telangana) while merging into Andhra state in 1956? Asked by: Niranjan
A. The dispute is historic. The economic disparity begins with the building of the Krishna and Godavari anaicuts by the British. This led to coastal Andhra benefiting greatly. Coupled with that the regressive rule of the Nizam led to Telangana's economic woes. Yes it's a historic dispute but to believe that division is the only solution is absurd. Yet this time 90 percent of the people in Telangana believe that it is, the problem is that the Telengana political leadership is extremely corrupt and doesn't seem sincere. If they were a state would have been formed
Q. How much LS seat congress hold in Telangana region. Asked by: Rakka
A. 12 out 17 is what the congress won in 2009, 2 Lok Sabha MP's have defected to the TRS ..at the moment congress leaders from there fear that the party may be wiped out if it does not give a Telengana.
Q. Why Congress is not making decision on Telangana. Asked by: Rohit
A. The Congress has been confused all along. We must see the issue from the perspective of History and that teaches us why the demand is so complicated. There is a feeling that giving a Telengana may wipe the congress out of Andhra and Rayalseema ..so they move one step forward and then take one step back.
Q. Granting statehood might result in more corruption - however there are many laudable schemes rolled out by the central govt which have not reached the target audience - do you think that addressing this gap prior to 2014 elections can held gain confidence for the congress? Also, what will stop them from taking this approach? Asked by: Srikanth
A. I think the demand for Telengana has become so strong that the people will feel cheated if they do not get. Unfortunately in this agitation the people seem committed and have been made to believe in a separate state. The point is that a separate state itself may not solve their problems, yet they want it as it has become part of the political psyche and identity. The only thing that can over rule economic development in indian politics is a hit on regional/sub regional or social identity.
Q. I am thinking too much, but will a referendum help? Any provision for that in our constitution? Asked by: Ragu D
A. Every by election so far has been a referendum. There are provisions in the constitution. But a referendum will not throw up any surprising result. The will of the people is clear in this case and divide is amply clear so a referendum will not help. Only a decision will!
Q. Why Congress promised Telangana in 2004 and 2009 elections if they are afraid of losing in seemandhra regions. If you promise something you need to fulfill at any cost. Asked by: Prabhakar
A. Yes. The classic congress double standard. I still remember how YSR reddy would speak for a Telengana in the region and then change his tone in Andhra. Only thing is till 2009 December announcement the people sentiment was not so strong. Even now it is more a bitterness over betrayal than a demand for a separate state.
Q. Since 2008, never seen police deployment in Hyderabad like today, is Andhra CM trying to prove something to his Delhi bosses. Asked by: aditya
A. They believe they can crush the agitation. They have been able to bribe the political leadership and hope to maintain an iron grip with force. Unfortunately all this will only make their standing much worse in an election.
Q. YSR was able to keep the protests under check and he fact won the election in 2009 without any problems.The situation was intense back then too.Would the situation be different if he were there today? Asked by: Ragu D
A. I think it would have been. I suspect there may not even have been an agitation if he was around. He was clever and cunning.
Q. Will the aam aadmi/BPL people really gain anything out of a separate state? I feel that the people will be more content if the quality of their life is improved irrespective of whether TG is a state or not. Instead of fighting for their rights the people seem to be fooled into believing in agitations. Your views please. Asked by: Srikanth
A. Have made my views clear in the earlier questions. Telengana's economic woes stem from historic factors and date back to British and Nizam's times. To believe that separation will change things now is absurd. But, the people see identity in their demand and so the only way forward will be to respect the genuineness of their demand.
Q. Why are the folks in Costal Andhra and rayalaseema against the bifurcation of the state. Is it because of the fear of losing Hyderabad or is there more to it? Asked by: Ragu D
A. "Vishal andhra" was a original idea and demand of the communists in the 1940's and 50s. The landed gentry from north and south coastal AP(Especially the Khammas) led the telengana agitation and armed rebellion in telengana during the 1930's to 50's. The leadership from Andhra believes in it's control over the region. Now their worries may represent itself in terms of the Hyderabad question. But it is more to do with the political psyche and socio economic complexities of the regions.