Hyderabad Capital of Telangana: Andhra Pradesh Capital Vijaywada?
Hyderabad will be the capital of Telangana says India's Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai.
"Hyderabad, I think, will always be the capital of Telangana," Pillai, who is here on an overnight visit to the state, told reporters after a security review meeting.
The remarks add fuel to a growing fire in Andhra Pradesh, after the federal government under the Congress party, agreed to the division of Andhra into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Though the Congress party supported Telangana as far back as 2004, this latest decision was triggered by a pro-Telangana politicians on a 11 day hunger strike.
Andhra Pradesh is run at the state level by the Congress Party as well, and that has caused political divisions leading to numerous MLA's resigning over the issue and division in the Congress party how to move forward.
The issue of Andhra Pradesh being partitioned into Telangana and Andhra dates back over 40 years as the idea of a "political" Telangana, a geographic region in Andhra's interior gained force and support.
However, powerful voices in the coastal regions of Andhra and Rayalseema want to keep Andhra Pradesh united - and oppose Hyderabad becoming the capital of Telangana.
Add a Maoist "pro-Hyderabad as part of Telangana" vocie into the mix and the situation in Andhra Pradesh could be called volatile. Moaist leader Kishenju has said
Hyderabad is an integral part of Telengana region and the city should be made the capital of the new state
when it comes into being.
Now, the state government in Andhra Pradesh has moved to adjourn the state legislative assembly
he move will put in abeyance the resignations of MPs from non-Telangana regions of the state and also take heat off the government to immediately bring a resolution on the formation of a new state.
But this move is a temporary stop gap and two huge looming questions remain. The central Congress government has agreed to the creation of new state called Telangana. Senior Ministers of that government have confirmed that Hyderabad (th international hit-tech center and center of government and for universities, the largest city in Andhra) will be the new capital of Telangana
Regionals politicians and a significant chunk of the Andhra people want to keep Andhra Pradesh united, and certainly balk at the notion of giving up Hyderabad.
All of this occurs with speculation of what the capital a new Andhra Pradesh will be. Nominees include Vijayawada, Vizag, or Tirupati.
Vijayawada is central located as main rail junction, a politicaly vibrant place it is the meetin point for many of Andhra's agricultural sectors.
Visakhapatnam (Vizag) is Andhra Pradesh's significant port city, on the Bay of Bengal. Industrail investments have grown in Vizag. And a new international IT hub will be located in Vizag. Home to Andhra University the city has an educated work force and federal defence contracts are also expected to give the city a boost.
Tirupati is the religious center of the state in many ways with pilgrims visiting the city on Andhra's southern border to pay homage to Lord Venkateswara. Because it is a center of worship that arguabley rivals the Vatican, transportation facilities are not an issue here. The city has six universities and Tirumala temple administration has money and expertise to expand the city.
Many of Andhra Pradesh shudder to contemplate the notion of a partitioned state and literally quake at the notion of giving up Hyderabad.
Though I write this from across the ocean, I am originally from Andhra Pradesh, my father and mother born in the Guntur and Vijayawada regions of the state. Now, much of my extended family is settled in Hyderabad.
I can not speak with authority by any means on the reality on the ground in Andhra Pradesh, about the creation of Telangana, but if India's history with partition and division is any clue (not matter the virtue of the Telangana cause) it is at very least worrisome
I fear the political leadership in India has so many vested interests that the Telangana decision was made in haste, akin to a mistake made by a drunkard - stumbling his way home, the drunkard mistakes the oncoming lights of a speeding bus for that of a bicycle.
The videos below are well worth a watch