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A Welcome Bonhomie

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(Ashok Tankasala)

The bonhomie witnessed between the Chief Ministers of two Telugu states needs to be welcomed by the people of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, for several reasons.

To begin with, the unwarranted animosities that continued for the last five years will come to an end. If the war of words and stratagems during the more than a decade of separatist movement was inevitable, there was simply no need to persist with it into the post-partition period.

After all, as both sides agreed and reiterated at every given opportunity, the people inhabiting both the states happen to be ‘Telugu brothers’ with centuries of common history and culture. Equally importantly, their future development demands close cooperation between the two on every front.

Incidentally, now Telugus are the only people in South India with more than one state and the two putting themselves on a growth trajectory will create its own clout for them not only in the
South but nationally.

Whereas this should have been the vision, the two states failed to
come to terms with in post-partition period both politically and
administratively.

Even the subtle intervention of the Central
government through the office of the common Governor could not clinch issues. Sharing of river waters, division of assets and liabilities, repatriation of employees and a host of other matters all became contentious.

Politicisations and hurling of mutual criticisms followed complicating the atmosphere even further. For independent observers, while a few of the disputes looked not easily resolvable not the majority of them were so.

An extraneous element that muddied the waters further was the spoiled political relations between the then AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During the early phases Naidu, who was an ally of Modi, expected the latter to throw his weight behind him vis a vis KCR, the Telangana CM. When that did not come about for whatever reason, its fall out impacted relations between the two CMs.

Thus the five year period till elections passed not only not settling anything between the Telugu Brothers but perhaps tightening the knots further. The only silver lining in this gloomy picture was, the Telugu Brothers of the two states had come to put the bitter past behind them and the graph of happy relations kept moving towards the North.

In this backdrop, one dreads to think what may have happened in case the TDP came back to power in AP. It may have come as a blessing in disguise that it did not happen.

This is not to particularly blame Chandrababu for the past but it cannot be denied that he had his own compulsions and limitations.

It is quite possible that he would not have been able to get out of that web. That situation, coupled with his bad relations with Modi administration, would have cast undoubtedly cast its spell on Andhra- Telangana relations.

Now that a fresh chapter has been opened in Andhra Pradesh with the coming to power of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, at the head of a YSRCP Government, it looks possible that this will bode well for the two Telugu Brother States. Not only between their people but also administrations.

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