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Bifurcation yet to end water wars

Three years since formation on 2 June 2014, the new state of Telengana and a truncated Andhra Pradesh, are yet to get down to being good unilingual neighbours. The common Governor has had,now and then, to sort out acrimonious divisional issues - staff, institutions, transport and other assets.

Both  governments are now getting closer to the second Assembly polls in 2019. The TRS government led by K Chandrasekhara Rao (TRS)  comfortably operates from Hyderabad,which was envisaged to be joint capital for 10 years. He has  ordered a massive land survey which, it is said, is aimed at ending litigation and ensuring land rights to real owners. 

The Congress, which lost power in 2014 but still No.2, is spearheading opposition to Rao’s ongoing land survey and other programmes he reels out now and then. One of his sudden announcements is distribution of  sheep to two lakh farmers at subsidised rates. The tenor of his remarks envisage turning Telengana a land of milk and honey.

Rao’s efforts to get closer to the Centre, however, have been snubbed. His peremptory style of governance has earned him the sobriquet of ‘Nizam’ of Telengana while a BJP leader went to the extent of accusing him of running a ‘regime of razakars.’ 

All this must be viewed in the context of BJP President  Amit Shah’s game plan for 2019, to win a majority in the 119-member Assembly to wrest the state from TRS. BJP also aims at securing 15 out of 17 Lok Sabha seats. BJP had 5 seats in Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat (Bangaru Dattatreya) in 2014.

The Congress which lost governance in 2014 with only 13 seats against TRS’ 90, is desperately attempting to stage a come-back. It is on the offensive against government order to set up Farmers Committees at various levels to accommodate TRS workers.

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