KCR Divides TJAC To Undo A Stubborn Kodandaram
Hyderabad: More the Telangana government tries to suppress the movement sought to be built by Professor M Kodandaram the greater appears to be the force with which it would rebounce. The government was successful in weaning away Pittala Ravindra, a TJAC convener, who was not seen in action since Wednesday. He was absent at the press conference addressed by Kodandaram at his residence on Thursday morning.
Pittala Ravindra has been on the side of Kodandaram for the last one year in all most all the activities. He has a chequered past shrouded in controversies. It is understood that KCR had employed his finance minister Etala Rajendra to wean Pittala away from the professor. The only senior and respected activist who continues to sail with Kodandaram is K Raghu, a powerful electricity employees union leader. There have been threats aimed at silencing Raghu but being a person of principles he remained steady with Kodandaram. Why is KCR bent on crushing Kodandaram? Why could he not allow TJAC to hold a rally of the unemployed? Why has the CM taken the issue so seriously?
It is true that many of the leaders of TJAC who participated in separate Statehood movement have been accommodated by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR) in the cabinet and positions outside the government. But he could not reconcile with the professor whom he anointed as chairman of the TJAC on 21 December 2009 at the suggestion of Prof Jayashankar. Kodandram proved to be a hard nut to crack. He refused to accompany KCR when the latter met the Group of Ministers headed by the then Defence Minister AK Antony. The executive committee of the TJAC had resolved that its chairman should remain equidistant from both the TRS and the Congress. That was when KCR was upset with the attitude of the professor.
Kodandaram did not want to contest the election. KCR did not insist on his contesting. After elections, KCR did not offer any position to Kodandaram nor did the latter ask for one.
Being a rights activist for many decades, Kodandaram naturally took to the fighting ways. He fought on behalf of the prospective victims of Mallanna Sagar protect. He also took up the cause of the unemployed. Employment was one of the three core issues that the separate Statehood movement was based upon. The other two issues were water and funds. KCR promised to create more than a lakh jobs but could not provide jobs to many. The youth has been feeling frustrated. They were organised by TJAC.
The Congress leaders who thronged to Kodandaram when he observed half-day fast, were conspicuous by their absence on Wednesday. They are worried about the growing popularity of the professor. The CPM activists were seen in action. Other opposition parties had kept themselves away from the rally.
KCR has been using ministers and party leaders to rile Kodandaram continuously. Suman, a young Dalit MP, has been very harsh in his criticism of his former teacher because of political compulsions. Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy and government chief whip Palla Rajeswara Reddy were vociferous in their criticism of Kodandaram.
Whatever the leaders in government may say, Kodandaram’s credibility is intact and his popularity is on the increase. The more criticism the ruling party heaps on him the stronger he would emerge. He is sure to launch a political party. As a preparatory exercise, Kodandaram is going to organise a big conference on June 2, Telangana formation day.