>>Time to stall Telananga has passed
>>Congress has bungled on Telangana
>>Kiran Reddy has a conflict of the soul
>>BJP not acting in haste
>>Jagan only a 2014 phenomenon
>>TDP and BJP-Short term gain
>>AAP not a factor in South
>>Lok Satta will expose all
Even as the Telangana issue heats up and leaders from Andhra Pradesh continue to play ultimate political games, there are few who believe that the time to fight is over and the best thing to do is work towards the best solution.
A politician of a different breed who people say always speaks sense is of the opinion that five years ago Telangana may have been uncessary, but today the stage has come where it needs to be dealt with in an amicable manner. Jayaprakash Narayan, the President of the Lok Satta party says in this interview with rediff.com that the Congress has bungled spectacularly on the Telangana issue and in the years to come it would become a case study of how not to do things.
Your thoughts on the Telangana issue sir.
The stage of whether Telangana should be formed or not has passed. What every one needs to think today is what could be the best solution and how to do it by creating least damage. Five years ago the formation of Telangana was unnecessary, but today the time has come to form it in an amicable manner.
How do you think the Congress has handled the issue?
They have bungled spectacularly. It is a classic case of how not to do things. Eventually this issue will become a case study of how not to do things. They have played political games without exploring a lot of factors. They ought to have explored the various alternatives and also considered public opinion. Only once all this was done should they have gone ahead with the bill.
How about Kiran Kumar Reddy’s handling of the matter?
There are many issues attached with the manner in which Kiran Kumar Reddy has handled the situation. He is brought up in Hyderabad but has his political base in Chitoor. Hence there is a conflict of the soul. The second issue is regarding his bravado. He wants to emerge as the hero to a section of the people. Hence he is trying to use this situation to his advantage. He is not acting like a statesman. His actions today are more indicative of trying to divide the people. Instead he needs to be looking at options where all the people are happy. This he is not doing and hence I say he is not behaving like a statesman.
Have politicians told the truth about Telangana?
The reason why the issue was raked up in the first place was because the people said that phenomenal injustice had been done to the people of Telagnana. However for the past three years none of the leaders have spoken about this aspect. Why has the Telegu Desam Party kept quiet for ten years? They should have spoken the truth about the subject. Today even when some parties are stating the truth it is more about due to their convenience. The truth about the issues of Telangana and its problems ought to have been spoken at the appropriate time and not at the convenient time. I can say confidently that Lok Satta is the only part which spoke the truth about the issue and said that in Telangana there is no organized discrimination, but there are other major issues such as backwardness which need to be addressed.
How do you see the BJP’s prospects in Telangana or Seema-Andhra?
In the short term the BJP wants the Congress to perish. In the past six months the Congress has made no attempt to understand the crux of the Telangana issue and now seeks to do it in six hours time. The BJP on the other hand cannot go back on the Telangana issue since they had made a commitment and going back would raise a question about their credibility. What the BJP hopes is for an ally in Seema-Andhra and hope that the TRS would go with them after the elections. In the long run the BJP feels that Telangana will be their strong hold and could even play a very soft Hindutva card on the issue. The BJP however is not exhibiting any haste.
How do you see the prospects of the TRS and the Congress?
The TRS will not survive long. It is an opportunistic family party and once Telangana is formed it will have no agenda left. The Congress on the other hand knows that it will be wiped out if Telangana is not formed.
Is Jagan Mohan Reddy an emerging force?
Jagan Mohan Reddy is not necessarily a strong candidate. He is only a phenomenon for this election. From the day he started his own party and till today his graph has surely declined, but then again not to the extent that he can be written off. There are many claimants in Seema-Andhra. At the moment Jagan and Chandrababu Naidu appear to be the champions and the Congress ministers too have started making the right noises. In such a scenario it will not be a cake walk for Jagan.
Let us speak about the Aam Admi Party (AAP). There is talk that you may tie up with them.
Aam Admi Party is not a significant factor in Andhra Pradesh. The Aam Admi Party is like a small child exposing the nakedness of the emperor. What happens if this small child is made the emperor? Their politics is juvenile and they are going back to the 1960’s socialist style of functioning without thinking of the future of the nation. They need to deal with issues with more patience and have to have negotiating skills. They cannot issue an order over night. The AAP will not have no significance in South India and in North India once their novelty wears out they will not be significant there too.
However what is heartening to see is that other parties are adapting. The BJP is talking more about economic growth instead of divide. Rahul Gandhi too speaks the AAP language, although it is belated. Overall parties are adapting to the better features of the Aam Admi Party.
What is Lok Satta’s agenda for the elections this year?
First would be Telangana. We need to ensure that all people live as brothers. There is no point in fighting each other. What have the rest of the parties offered in Andhra Pradesh? TDP has increased the problem and is only keen on naming his successor. Moreover he is announcing freebies without thinking of the future knowing fully well it will burden the state and sooner or later destroy it. Jagan on the other hand stands for corruption and his party is all about him, his sister and mother. The TRS ferments hatred and indulges in loot. The Lok Satta will expose all these parties.
We will have a powerful agenda and the main intention is to ensure that all children get an opportunity in terms of quality education and health care. We want to ensure 24 hours power and economic growth and also ensure that services are delivered.
Your thoughts on a possible alliance between the BJP and TDP.
In the short term both the TDP and the BJP will gain. Both need this alliance. There is no doubt a Modi factor across the country. The BJP has the Modi factor and the TDP has the organizational capabilities.