JP, Undavalli ready

As solicited, former MP Undavalli Arun Kumar and former bureaucrat-turned-politician, Jayaprakash Narayana, have agreed to work with Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan as a pressure group to prevail upon the Central government to implement the AP Reorganisation Act in letter and spirit. Pawan Kalyan had come forward and solicited the support of the two leaders, besides others from the State. He had met Jayaprakash Narayana in Hyderabad the other day where they had the initial talks on the strategy to be worked out to form into a pressure group. He is yet to meet Undavalli and is expected make it sometime next fortnight.

The initial meeting between Pawan Kalyan and Jayaprakash Narayana had echoed the sentiments of the people of the two Telugu States, particularly Andhra Pradesh who feel ignored and injustice is done to the State in the bifurcation and the post-bifurcation. The issues like special category status, funds for the backward districts, Central institutions, and revenue deficit top the agenda of these leaders, which also reflect the sentiments of the people.

There are no positive signs from the Central government on granting special category status to the state. There are fears from the neighbouring States that investments from their states too would go to Andhra Pradesh if special category status is given. It was late J Jayalalithaa, then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu who was first to oppose special category status to the State, followed by Bihar and Odisha. Though Karnataka too has similar fears, it had not come out in open, while Telangana too remains silent despite its fears of losing investments from the State.

The north-Indian dominated rulers are not ready to give the benefit of special category status to the state, though they have committed for the same during the elections and also on the floor of Lok Sabha at the time of passing the Reorganisation Act. The special category status to the state was also cleared by the Cabinet in March 2014, which was subsequently recommended to the then Planning Commission. With all these constitutional legalities, the issue would remain a distant dream for Andhra Pradesh and would not be a reality whatever the pressure group fights for it.

The pressure group has the issues like funds for the backward districts, steel plant in Kadapa, port in Dugajapatnam and railway zone for the State, which can be achieved in due course. These issues should be the core agenda of this group, if Pawan Kalyan wants to achieve for the State. But, as Jayaprakash Narayana claimed, the group would be of no use if it takes up issues concerning the Telangana State too. The pressure gets diluted if the Telangana issues are also linked and any leader and any group who speaks for Telangana, at least for the next 10 years, would not be acceptable for the people of Andhra Pradesh.

This would be clear once Pawan Kalyan meets Undavalli as he met Jayaprakash Narayana. The Rajahmundry former MP is clearer on the issues both economically and politically when compared with Jayaprakash Narayana, who is more clear and concerned about the economic issues of the State in the post-bifurcation. Moreover, Jayaprakash Narayana is not an accepted leader in Andhra Pradesh and all his experiments in politics are a big failure. He could not succeed in politics unlike Kejriwal of Delhi as he is not well understood by the people. It is to be seen how these three leaders from into a pressure group representing the people and fight for the State in the days to come.

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