Jagan openly mocked at the Congress and the state government in Andhra Pradesh. “I am doing Congress a favour by asking my supporters (MLAs) not to resign. Had I wanted, I could have done it a long time ago. I am a gentleman. So I am doing a favour to the Congress party.” He did not mince any words in making his intentions clear.for the first time in its long history, the congress must be feeling very sorry that it is in power in andhra pradesh. i don't think such a situation had ever risen in any other state, for that matter, in the past. given a chance, it'd rather be in the opposition benches again, i think, stoke wild aspirations and make vague promises about a new state, and win elections as it did in 2004. yes, given a chance, it'd definitely like to go back to 2004. given a chance, i think, it'd prefer to roll over and die now. but it seems like jagan and many others wouldn't give it even that chance.
dangling 'magical solutions' before the masses could ensure some temporary successes -- you tell jobseekers telangana would give you jobs, you tell farmers telangana would give you water, you tell the poor telangana would bring you wealth, you tell everyone telangana would bring you everything-- like an election or two. but when the masses come to collect, you can't tell them that there are no magical solutions. that you'd been fooling them all along.
the congress can't choose the srikrishna committee's best option, united andhra pradesh, and garner winning votes in telangana for some time. it can't choose the second best option, bifurcation, and hope to survive in coastal andhra and rayalaseema. but how did the congress manage to so dexterously antagonise people of all regions? even now, it's not the anger of the people it's worried about, it's the displeasure of the dominant caste groups in the state that worries it.
i am not predicting that the congress would die in andhra pradesh. only that congressmen would disappear in droves into jagan's mob, or the trs for a while or... the survival of the congress until now has always depended on how happy it could keep the dominant castes in the state, distributing power and pelf evenly between regions, more or less. so the dominant castes in andhra were okay with telangana as long as it remained an election promise, but when the dominant castes in telangana saw in this promise an opportunity to corner all power over the economic 'engine' of the state, hyderabad, the entente between both groups started getting weaker. but i think the weakening of the alliance between the dominant groups in the state is temporary: they've many common social and economic interests. but what has suffered more grievous damage is the congress's reputation as an arbiter, a keeper of peace and balance, among these groups. the telugu desam, 25 years ago, had won the confidence of at least one group among these castes and managed to also groom leaders from among a sizeable section of the backward castes. the tdp too would suffer now because, as the srikrishna committee has observed, 3-4 large backward castes are also seeking a firmer place among the dominant groups.
what was the telangana movement all about? it was, like i always said, about power-sharing. not about neglect, or poverty, or discrimination or colonization. certainly not about the people.