Consultation meet on AP impasse ends on inconclusive note

Consultation meet on AP impasse ends on inconclusive note - Sakshi Post

A day-long consultation meet organised by 'The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy' in Hyderabad on Saturday could not come out with any substantial solution for the prevailing crisis in Andhra Pradesh over the proposed division of the state even as participants wanted the Centre to reach out to people and civil society to end the impasse.

The Centre could have done much has not done enough to reach out to the people. It can still do more to reach out to the people and the civil society, beyond political parties, to find a solution to the crisis, the meet concluded. Briefing newsmen in the evening about the day's deliberations, Economic and Political Weekly Executive Editor Aniket Alam and Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies Yogendra Yadav said, the problem is intractable.

The passions are very high and its a zero-sum game. The division is clear, which is an unfortunate reality. Passions (among people) are high and there are actual fears. The Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have done less than what they should have done.  Political steps have been taken but not institutional moves. The institutional mechanisms should be started as soon as possible, they added. On Hyderabad, which has been the bone of contention between the both sides, the meeting was unanimous that it should neither be made the permanent joint capital (of Telangana and residual Andhra Pradesh), nor a Union Territory.  The Chandigarh model for Hyderabad is totally ruled out (as an option). Making Hyderabad a Union Territory is a very bad solution, Alam and Yogendra said, referring to the deliberations of the meet.

On sharing of river waters, another point of concern particularly among Seemaandhra people, the meet pointed out that many agreements in this regard were already in place.  There was a suggestion that the upper riparian state (which Telangana would become in the event) could be paid for 'eco-system services' for water sharing, they said.

Noting that much of the state's revenue was generated from Hyderabad, sharing of revenues could be another contentious issue.  Revenue sharing issue could be addressed somehow but AP has a fairly large public debt. Sharing of liabilities could pose a problem.

The 14th Finance Commission will have a crucial role to play in revenue matters (once the division happens), they added. Yogendra Yadav summed up saying: The consultation meet proved that a reasonable conversation is possible between the two sides. There are genuine apprehensions and, if they are properly addressed, a solution to the problem is possible. He, however, regretted that the state currently lacked a tall leader who could make people (on both sides) see reason and pave the way for a smooth division. Many lessons could be learnt from the Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand, Bihar-Jharkhand division and the Chandigarh experiences and could be applied in this case, Yogendra noted. Leaders from various political parties, intelligentsia, academicians, former bureaucrats and other stakeholders took part in the deliberations.

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