Jayaprakash Narayan writes to Modi to defuse tensions between the states

HYDERABAD: Loksatta founder president Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately act to defuse the tension and restore harmony and civility between the two governments of the two Telugu states.

In a letter to the prime minister, he said one year after the contentious bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and the creation of Telangana State (TS), visceral passions and parochial polarization are once again emerging as serious threats in the two states.

Narayan said the union government must immediately step in to reconcile the conflict between the two state governments and restore the spirit of harmony and cooperation.  The first step in such an effort would be to ensure an impartial and credible investigation into this entire vote-buying episode and alleged telephone tapping by handing them over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Only a clinical, comprehensive and dispassionate investigation by the CBI – one that is insulated from the narrow politics of the two states and also is one to undertake immediately and completequickly– can ensure that the truth comes out and people’s faith in the rule-of-law, he said.

Already, the past year had witnessed acrimonious and disquieting discords between the two state governments, especially over allotment of officers and staff, including officials of all-India services, creation of a separate High Court, common governmental institutions, college admission and financial assistance for students, and management of irrigation projects, where the police of the two states had even fought a pitched battle in Nagarjuna Sagar – an unprecedented event in modern India.

During such episodes, the governments and political leaders in both states had deliberately and calculatedly indulged in partisan rhetoric aimed at rousing regional sentiments and scoring cheap political points. Yet, the lives of the vast majority of ordinary citizens have remained peaceful during this period.

The latest episode of party defections and attempted vote-buying before the recent elections to the TS Legislative Council, the related allegations and counter-allegations including telephone tapping, and the subsequent developments in both the states present a far graver challenge:  ranged on diametrically opposing sides are the chief ministers along with the respective cabinets, senior government officials, law-and-order and security machineries and the political leaders, he said.

In both the states, the day-to-day governance, normal developmental agenda and virtually the entire administrative machinery have become hostages of this war-like atmosphere. Relentless partisan and sensational media coverage are only accentuating the regional disharmony.  The deteriorating tone and tenor of the public discourse and the surcharged atmosphere in both states have become mutually reinforcing, Jayaprakash Narayan stated in the letter. (NSS)

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