Friday, December 2, 2022

Division of Andhra Pradesh and After

Composite Andhra Pradesh flourished since it got separated from the state of Madras with three regions viz, Andhra, Telangana and Rayalaseema. Telangana maintained a distinct identity as the area was under the rule of Nizams earlier. The language of the area too is a different dialect of Telugu. Since Hyderabad is the biggest city, it was chosen to be the capital of AP. For a very long time people lived happily together.

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Politicians like Marri Chenna Reddy wanted to have a separate state and built a movement for separate Telangana whenever there was a CM from Andhra or Rayalaseema areas. Then PM Indira Gandhi talked to them, introduced six point formula and the movement subsided as there was no reasonable ground for separation.

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In course of time some people form Andhra migrated to Hyderabad and some other parts of Telangana because of jobs and investment opportunities. Initially Telengana people welcomed this as their area was developing with investments from Andhra.  Andhra people worked hard and used intelligent ways of developing agriculture and industry there. Soon they became prosperous while the not so hard working local people remained in the same status. This caused some heart burn among some of them. Taking this as an opportunity, leaders like KCR and Kodandaram started infuriating public for a separate Telangana to fulfil their personal ambitions of ruling the separated state. The change in status of the dalit students of Andhra and Telangana areas in Osmania University was the immediate cause of ire and politicians added fuel to fire with their fiery speeches. When Telangana movement became strong and none from Andhra or Rayalaseema regions talked effectively about the need for being united, the Congress government at the centre all of a sudden decided to bifurcate the State into two with ulterior motive of forming their party government in Telangana. KCR who promised to merge his party with Congress after the election did not do so and he became the CM. 

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The division of the State was done instantaneously without any plan or method. It was like a crude stroke with a pickaxe to divide a piece of wood. The Bill dividing the state was passed while Andhra MPs were protesting and without listening to any of the problems which will arise due to the division. The only solace was that Polavaram project was promised to be taken up by the Centre as Andhra region would be without water if the project was not completed. Electricity was supposed to be a very big problem as all the production centres were in Telangana and Andhra did not have much of producing capacity. The government revenue was mostly from Hyderabad and surrounding areas and if all of it went to Telangana government, then Andhra would starve for funds. CM Chandra Babu Naidu put all his efforts to develop Hyderabad, and Andhra and Rayalaseema regions did not have significant industrial development. In such horrible circumstances Andhra Pradesh was reborn. 

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Chandra Babu Naidu appeared as the only saviour in that hour of tragedy and people voted for him as everybody believed that he alone can rebuild AP to its former glory. True to his image, just as he converted Hyderabad to Cyberabad, he planned and started building up the new capital city. He wants AP capital to be the best in the world. So he held discussions with many international organizations and finalised plans. He collected land from farmers offering them incentives. His “Land Pooling System” is unique and nobody ever heard of it before. Electricity, which was expected to be a huge problem in the new state, disappeared because of the magic wand in the hand of  Chandra Babu Naidu. Further he started connecting rivers to make all the regions useful for cultivation. Though he had plenty of time to retain capital in Hyderabad he shifted himself to Vijayawada soon after the division and started governance from there. His personal supervision of all the activities and his versatile talent goes into making AP one of the leading states in India. He made it one of the best states in India for investment. AP leads other states in “Ease of Doing Business”. He made the car company Kia start their unit in AP. His ‘Janmabhoomi’, ‘Dwacra’ and so many other welfare programs make him a benefactor of the people. His personal supervision of cyclone affected areas in Visakhapatnam endeared him to all the people in the state. It was hoped that Mr Naidu would build a good capital to the new state but he lost power in the next election.

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(The views expressed are that of the author)

Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur had been a Lecturer in English. He is a poet, critic and translator. His interests are Literature, Philosophy and social media.

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