Provide adequate political positions to Telangana people: Panel

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 06, 2011 13:29 hrs

New Delhi: Providing adequate political positions like chief minister and deputy chief minister to people hailing from Telangana is among the confidence building measures suggested by the Srikrishna panel if the region remains part of Andhra Pradesh.

The five-member panel, which went into the demands for a separate Telangana as well as keeping Andhra Pradesh united, noted in its 461-page report that the momentum for a separate state "picked up" from the time the decisions incorporated in the gentlemen's agreement of 1956 signed between Telangana and Andhra leaders were not implemented.

It hoped that the proposed Telangana Regional Council with statutory powers would take care of the grievances of the people of the region, who have been demanding that ten districts of Andhra Pradesh be taken to carve out a new state.

In its option of keeping Andhra Pradesh united with constitutional and statutory measures for socio-economic development of Telangana region, the Committee says confidence building measures needed to be initiated.

The full text of the Telangana report

It suggests "providing adequate political space to Telangana, such as the positions of chief minister or deputy chief minister and other key ministerial portfolios."

The ruling Congress had last month announced that one of its MLAs from the Telangana region would be made the deputy chief minister.

The committee said it would also be necessary that for confidence building, important meetings in Government of India particularly where allocation of development and other funds are discussed, both the chief minister and his deputy should attend.

The 1956 agreement provided safeguards with the purpose of preventing discrimination against Telangana by the government of Andhra Pradesh.

Srikrishna finds case both for and against separate Telangana

In the united Andhra Pradesh scenario, the committee recommended setting up of Water Management Board and an Irrigation Project Development Corporation in expanded role.

It also noted that the first reaction to this option will be of a total rejection by some political leaders, other groups and organisations and a majority of people from Telangana region, since their long standing demand for a separate Telangana would not have been met.

The report also said students and unemployed youth (who have been promised lakhs of jobs), non-gazetted officers (who are anticipating accelerated promotions), lawyers and farmers may not feel satisfied and may resort to violent agitations.

The committee said it is its anticipation that once the empowerment model as also the advantages of the state staying united have been understood by the people it would be possible for the Government to contain and control the agitational activities and take the state towards economic growth and progress.

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