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Carving out State no solution to Telengana woes: CPI (M)

Friday 6 May 2005

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday emphasised that the division of Andhra Pradesh was not the solution to the problem of backwardness of the Telengana region and it was misleading to conclude that a separate State per se would ensure development.

Stressing that the problems of underdevelopment and socio-economic backwardness had to be tackled through specific measures, general secretary Prakash Karat forwarded seven suggestions for the consideration of the Pranab Mukherjee sub-committee set up by the United Progressive Alliance Government to address the demand for a separate Telengana.

The party suggested that priority be given to irrigation projects which would cater for Telengana and other backward areas; a comprehensive land distribution programme with special focus on the region; a crash programme to improve educational facilities in identified backward mandals; special measures to improve the economic and social position of Dalits, tribal people and minorities; a high-powered committee to study the imbalanced development among different regions and districts; strict implementation of government order 610 and rectification of past distortions; a special fund for the development of backward areas should be earmarked in every budget; and a separate mechanism to oversee the implementation of the special plans for backward areas.

While asking the sub-committee to consider these aspects, the party said the UPA should keep in mind that the division of Andhra Pradesh, which was the first major State to be formed on the linguistic basis, would open a plethora of demands for new States to be carved out of the existing linguistic States.

"Instead of tackling the root cause of regional imbalance, backwardness and underdevelopment, the demand for setting up new States will be a diversion and open up a host of intra-State problems which can heighten differences and weaken the unity of the people," the party said in its two-page note.

Historical perspective

The party gave a historical perspective to its stand on Telengana.

Andhra Pradesh was formed following a sustained movement for the creation of a unified linguistic State for all Telugu-speaking people.

The Visalaandhra movement was actually demanding the fulfilment of a promise made during the freedom struggle that the provinces of India would be reorganised on a linguistic basis. This undid the legacy of colonial rule, which set up multi-lingual provinces purely for the administrative purposes of the British rulers.

Bedrock of federal system

The States Reorganisation Committee explicitly recognised the linguistic principle for the formation of States and formation of linguistic States provided the bedrock for the federal system. in the country.

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