Srikrishna report: `Secret` notes to keep Telangana issue under check

The Justice Srikrishna Committee report has recommended in a "secret" supplementary note steps the Centre should take to keep the Telangana statehood issue under check in Andhra Pradesh.

Hyderabad: The Justice Srikrishna Committee
report has recommended in a "secret" supplementary note steps
the Centre should take to keep the Telangana statehood issue
under check in Andhra Pradesh.

The supplementary note remained a "secret" till yesterday
before Justice L Narasimha Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh High
Court made it public through his judgement on a writ petition
filed by former MP M Narayan Reddy.

The secret supplementary note contained a "political
management" plan recommended by the Committee to the Union
Home Ministry.

"There is a need for ensuring unity among the leaders of
the ruling party in the state. There is also a need for
providing strong and firm political leadership and placement
of representatives of Telangana in key positions, may be CM/
Deputy CM (Since done. This aspect was discussed with FM & HM
in September, 2010)," the secret note says.

This, of course, did not happen as the Committee presumed
while submitting its report to the Centre. Though the Congress
promised in December last to appoint a Telangana leader as
Deputy Chief Minister, it is yet to be fulfilled because of
internal differences within the party.

The judge, in his verdict yesterday, pointed to this,
observing, "At a time when the Committee was giving final
touches to its report, a new Chief Minister was sworn in with
some changes in the Cabinet.

"There was a serious speculation and talk that a
legislator from Telangana is going to be made the Deputy
Chief Minister, so much so, his name was also announced from
Delhi. The Committee appears to have proceeded as though the
said legislator was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister."

The secret supplementary note reads: "Action also needs to
be initiated for softening the TRS to the extent possible,
especially in the context of the fact that TRS has threatened
to launch a civil disobedience movement after December 31 and
also initiate a `Maha Yuddham` (a massive war) if the Centre
does not announce a separate Telangana.

"Gaddar’s TPF (Telangana Praja Front) who had parted
company with TRS have again joined hands with TRS. Inputs
indicate that this agitation can be tackled if Congress
leaders do not give an impression indicating any covert/overt
support to it.

"Hence the Congress MPs/MLAs need to be taken into
confidence and asked not to lend any form of support to the
agitation. The Congress high command must sensitise its own
MPs and MLAs and educate them about the wisdom for arriving at
an acceptable and workable solution. With the ruling party and
main opposition party (for Telangana demand) being brought on
the same page, the support mechanisms have a higher
probability of becoming successful."

While the Centre or the Congress could not fully succeed
in "softening" the TRS, the party succeeded to a large extent
in silencing its Telangana MPs and MLAs though one or two MPs
like K Keshava Rao and Madhu Yashki Goud continue to make
noises over the issue.

Justice Narasimha Reddy observed: "That the Committee
travelled beyond the terms of reference in its endeavour to
persuade the Union of India, not to accede to the demand for
Telangana, is demonstrated in the supplementary note, appended
to the note, representing Chapter-VIII.

"The Committee comprised two jurists, two social
scientists and an ex-bureaucrat to studythe situation and
submit report covering legal and social dimensions of the
issue. None of them were supposed to have any political
leanings, or for that matter, political tendencies.

Unfortunately, the portion extracted above makes one to feel
whether it fits into any terms of reference to the
Committee at all.

"The above analysis would find even political scientists
and sociologists in wilderness and persuade them to add new
chapters to political sciences and public administration. None
of these aspects could have been put on paper by a given
ruling party, even if it is desperate. Still you do not have a
basis for this exercise. It does not even reflect political
expediency. At the most it manifests political despondency,"
the judge commented.

The Committee’s note also said, "Further, on receipt of
the Committee’s report by the government, a general message
should be conveyed amongst the people of the state that the
Centre will be open for detailed discussions on the
recommendations/options of the report with the
leaders/stakeholders concerned either directly or through a
Group of Ministers or through important interlocutors and that
this process will start at the earliest."


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