At long last, the Congress has taken a decision on Telangana. Keeping Hyderabad as the capital for 10 years is no solution at all. In the case of Chandigarh, the city happens to be on the border of both Punjab and Haryana. But here, Hyderabad will be right in the centre of the newly carved out Telangana and for the rest of Andhra Pradesh to use Hyderabad as a capital will not be convenient. However, they have said it will be only for 10 years. What they should do is to give a one-time grant to Andhra Pradesh to build a proper capital — may be Kurnool or wherever they want it. Actually when the NDA created three States Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh, they should have made Telangana and Vidarbha also. The Telangana and Vidarbha demands have been very,very old almost since the re- organisation of the States and there is a justification about these demands, but the NDA did not do it.
Now, after a gap of so many years, the Congress finally appears to have taken a decision. The sad part is that a decision to form a State is also based on the calculation whether you will get electoral advantage or not. This is highly short-sighted. One party can’t be the gainer from the formation of the State. May be for one election you will gain some points that you have made the State. I don’t understand. When you are deciding the destiny of the country, how can you think of an election? What will happen if 10 to 20 seats go this way or that way? The decision should be based on mature consideration as to what is good for the entire population of the united Andhra Pradesh. After the break-up both the States should do well. The smaller States have really done well, so there is a strong case for smaller States. However, you can’t open a Pandora’s box where very, very small States come into being. The case in point is Goa. For the first time or after a long time there is a stable Government in Goa. Otherwise, in an electorate of 12 lakhs and 40 seats, an MLA needs to win only a few thousands votes. This is a highly unsatisfactory arrangement. Now, there is a demand for Vidarbha which is quite legitimate and there may be a break-up of UP where Mayawati has already passed a resolution in the Assembly during her regime. They will seriously consider it because UP is a really large State for a single Chief Minister to cover. The number of districts there are too many and the number of constituencies there are too many. And there is a logic. East UP and West UP are in entirely different kinds of situations. Move to the middle part, we have Bundelkhand. Part of Bundelkhand area also lies in Madhya Pradesh. There is some substance in the BJP demanding the State from the States Reorganisation Commission. But that should not happen because then a Pandora’s box will really open and everybody will want a State. However there should be some judicial commission to apply their mind to the break-up of UP and to the grant of Statehood to Vidarbha.
The next issue is that Parliament’s monsoon session opened on August 5. What was the intention of the Congress, we didn’t know before the session. The Food Security Bill, of course, they wanted it to be passed but there were umpteen bills already passed by the Lok Sabha which is just a formality to be passed by Rajya Sabha. It could be done in a few hours. Congress should decide that where they have no controversy, those Bills should be passed. And wherever there is controversy like Food Security and other Bills let there be a debate, let Amendments be moved and whatever the majority passes should be accepted. That is democracy. The strategy of the BJP was that what is not likely to be passed should not be debated and this will obstruct the House and get it adjourned, that is not a wise thing to do for the Opposition. Reactions are coming, people are disgusted with the Congress because of its corruption and scams and they are disgusted with the BJP for being outrightly communal. They appointed a leader who is communal. His deputy goes to Ayodhya and says we will make a temple. The matter is in court, nobody can make a temple on the land which is now under court orders. All this is pandering and the electorate now understands this, so politically you will not gain much mileage either. I think it is high time now only 7-8 months are left for the next elections that both the main parties of the country should put their heads together and try to arrive at a consensus on certain issues which are not political. The economic situation is bad, the current account deficit has gone out of control. In 1991, I remember, the current account deficit was around 3 per cent and the country was in total crisis. Just now it is 4.8 per cent. Of course we have foreign exchange reserves, so we are not in the 1991 situation as yet. But the situation can change suddenly. So it is high time some mature governance is done – not the governance as the term is being used in Gujarat. What I mean is that sensible decisions should be taken in the interest of the country.
I have to again beseech the Prime Minister, he is the only person who can really take a lead, who still has credibility. His party is of course knee deep in scams. But largely I think people still feel that he is a person who can use his economic knowledge and politically also he is quite a sober person. It is high time he intervenes in the matter, even if it is unpleasant for his party. But the need of the hour for the country is to act. Why I am saying this is because the armed forces will be demoralised if the political leadership is not good. In India fortunately, we have had democratic transitions, some good, bad, indifferent Governments. But what is happening today God forbid in the next elections if you demoralise the armed forces we will be in a soup from which we will never be able to recover.