Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath addresses press on Telengana Bill at the Parliament House in New Delhi on February 20. (IANS)

Dream Fulfilled in 2014, Telengana Born as 29th State

The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, which led to the birth of India’s 29th state – Telengana, will turn to be a major event in Indian history when we close the chapter of 2014. While the state had undergone through a tug of war during last years, the division of the state has brought in happiness for the people of Telengana on June 2.

Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was passed in the Parliament on February 18. The city of Hyderabad being the capital for the state since 58 years will continue for another 10 years for both the states, Andhra and Telengana. Chandrashekar Rao was elected as the first chief minister of Telangana.

While the people of Telengana overjoyed on fulfilling their long-cherished aspirations of a dream coming true, it was gloom in Andhra Pradesh for a brief period. However, Telugu-speaking people finally reconciled to the reality of two states.

The year 2014 began in the midst of intensified efforts by the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to divide Andhra Pradesh before its term ended in May. The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, approved by the union cabinet last December, was sent to the Andhra Pradesh legislature, which was asked to give its views by January 23.

The bill, which was brought to Hyderabad in a special aircraft, was introduced in both houses of the state legislature amid clashes between legislators from Seemandhra and Telangana. Though there were disruptions for days, the debate on the bill finally began.

Strongly opposing the division of the state and raising the banner of revolt against the ruling Congress, then chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy moved a resolution in the assembly to reject the bill.

Though there were uproars, both houses of the state legislature on January 30 passed by a voice vote official resolutions rejecting the bill and appealing to the president not to send it to Parliament. Meanwhile, Reddy had even staged a sit-in in Delhi to press his demand.

Without any disruptions as it happened before when MP L. Rajagopal used pepper spray in Lok Sabha, the union cabinet cleared the bill and both houses of Parliament passed it in February.

A package was declared by the government in parliament to assuage the hurt feelings of Seemandhra leaders. The centre imposed president’s rule in the state after Reddy, who opposed the decision of the parliament, quit the congress as well as resigned as the chief minister.

However, on June 2, TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao was sworn in as the first chief minister of the new state. He had promised to deliver ‘golden Telangana’ and to undo the injustice done to the region in the past.

The Seemandhra people had completely wiped out Congress assembly elections and reposed faith in the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), whose president N. Chandrababu Naidu formed the government on June 8.

Naidu, who holds the record of the longest serving chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh (1995-2004), took oath at a public ceremony near Vijayawada. Naidu, who claims the credit for developing Hyderabad into an economic and IT hub, embarked on building the new state from scratch. He had promised to overcome all challenges and vowed to transform Andhra Pradesh into a Singapore.

Meanwhile, it was not easy for both the governments to get down to business as resentment marked division of government employees, including the allocation of all India service officials. However, both states still continue to accuse each other of violating the Reorganisation Act.

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