(By Ashok Tankasala)
The decision of Telangana CM KCR to invite his AP counterpart YS
Jaganmohan Reddy to be the chief guest for the inauguration of the prestigious Kaleswaram project is a brilliantly symbolic move in more than one way.
The project being built on river Godavari has been a subject of some unwarranted controversies between the two states for all these years.
While the waters of river Krishna have reached a saturation point after utilization, the Godavari has always been a surplus river with
thousands of TMCs of water getting wasted into the Bay of Bengal.
Experts have been unanimous that even after Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh utilize their respective shares as stipulated by a tribunal, still there will be plenty of waters left in the river.
Noting this point KCR tried to convince Chandrababu Naidu, the then CM of AP that they sit together to work out plans to derive as much benefit as possible but the latter had never shown any inclination for it.
On the contrary, he complained to the Central Water Commission and other authorities against Kaleswaram. KCR even suggested that such plans would enable the taking of waters to the parched lands Rayalaseema, to no avail.
With the change of government in AP, the Telangana CM renewed the issue with the new Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. And now in no time comes the gesture to invite him for the inauguration of Kaleswaram on 21st of this month as Chief Guest, together with Devendra Phadnis, the CM of Maharashtra.
KCR will be personally visiting Amaravati, the capital of AP to hand the invitation papers.
Apart from the material issues involved in this, the relations between the two Telugu states will be receiving a big boost with this move by the Telangana Chief Minister.
Despite the common language and centuries of common history with some breaks, relations between the two regions were muddied ever since the merger of two states in 1956, a history hardly needs a mention here.
The break up in 2014 was supposed to heal the wounds with some time allowance.
Undoubtedly it actually happened with millions of Andhra origin people continuing to live in Telangana, contrary to initial apprehensions, which convinced even their brethren in Andhra districts that Telangana posed no threat of any kind.
In this backdrop relation between the two states should
have got onto progressive tracks.
This is particularly so in view of the two regions also being mutually dependent materially in several ways. It seems the people were ready for it but Naidu was not inclined for political reasons.
Even as the good relations that prevailed between KCR and Reddy prior to elections continued into the post-poll period, the likely presence of Jagan at Kaleswaram can only be expected to yield multiple benefits for both the states and the leaders. That can be political as well as material. Since Kaleswaram is all set to irrigate millions of acres of Telangana, if the two CMs can only draw themselves into plans wherein the same Godavari can reach parched lands of Rayalaseema and other backwards regions of AP, that can take the relations of two sister-states to new heights.