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Is it time to consider another state reorganisation?

By Renu Mittal
December 12, 2009 02:02 IST
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It is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

The Telangana episode has triggered many other leaders to restart their chant for separate states. On the list are: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's demand for Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal in her state, the Gorkhas demand for Gorkhaland, Vidharbha in Maharashtra, Mithilanchal in Bihar, Coorg in Karnataka and Saurashtra in Gujarat, among others.

Bombarded with so many demands for separate states, official sources say the Centre is now considering setting up of a second state reorganisation commission.

The second SRC, which will examine all the demands of separate states, may be provide a solution to the government, which is now barraged with growing demands for separation from various states.

With the setting up of the second SRC, the government could heave a sigh of relief by handing over all the appeals to the commission.

Sources say that if leaders demanding separation of various states go ahead with their threats, the Centre may be forced to set up the second SRC.

The first SRC was set up in the 1950's, which led to the formation of southern states on the basis of linguistic division.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance' decision to initiate the process of forming Telangana has opened a Pandora's box, with many leaders have threatened to go on fast-unto-death, encouraged by the success of Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekhara Rao.

The anger within the Congress fold in Andhra Pradesh is slowly catching on. With most MPs being insecure about their future electoral prospects in the state that may be broken, the Congress leadership is reportedly unable to convince them to stay on the line.

Even as Congress president Sonia Gandhi is away on a two-day tour of her constituency Rae Bareilly, a blame game has begun within the party on who was responsible for giving the final go-ahead.

Some Congress leaders, who claim to be close to Gandhi, have said that the party president was misled on the issue by some senior leaders from Andhra Pradesh.

However, many Congress leaders from the state have complained that they were never consulted on the issue.

A section of Andhra MPs feel the announcement may not actually become a reality. Congress MP Subbirami Reddy said the words of Home Minister P Chidambaram carried no significance, while MP K S Rao said the comment by home secretary on Hyderabad need not be taken seriously.

Agitated Congress Members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh met the prime minister, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday. As an effort in damage control, the prime minister and senior union ministers have told the MPs that there would be no resolution if there were no consensus in the state assembly. With 140 MLAs protesting against the resolution, and the figure expected to rise in the coming days, the question of bifurcating the state does not arise, at least in the near future.

Mukherjee has even reportedly advised the MPs to defeat the resolution if they felt so strongly about it.

While the issue of forming Telangana seems to have been shelved for time being, the demands for other states continue.
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Renu Mittal in New Delhi