Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are engaged in a bitter battle thanks to their respective Chief Ministers. For starters one must realize that Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are part of the same country and although the bifurcation of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh has had mixed reactions, the time has come to move on.
The past few weeks have taken the rivalry to a new high with cash for MLAs allegations and also phone tapping issues.
It is not personal rivalry that is being played out between K Chandrasekara Rao and Chandrababu Naidu, chief ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh respectively says Madhu Yashki Goud, former member of parliament, Congress.
In this interview with OneIndia, Goud says is that both Chief Minister's want to keep the hatred between the two states alive so that it benefits them politically.
Why has this battle of the Chief Ministers become so bitter?
It was bound to be bitter as they claim they cannot see eye to eye with each other. However let me point out here that it is not a case of personal rivalry. It is clear political rivalry that is being played out in the public.
Why do you stress that it is political rivalry?
Both the Chief Ministers have realized that they cannot deliver on their promises. They made tall promises during the elections and are clearly unable to live up to it. They know that the emotions are high on both sides and both are taking full advantage of the rivalry between the people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
They are already making grounds for the next elections and are fully aware that it is only with this emotive plank will they be voted back into power.
How can you say that there is no rivalry between Chandrasekara Rao and Chandrababu Naidu?
I am very sure that there is no personal rivalry. KCR would address the AP CM as Naidu Gaaru. The AP CM on the other hand calls the Telangana CM by his first name. This is one sign of the proximity.
Secondly they abuse each other in public, but hug in private. There is no rivalry what so ever between them and each one is playing out a political game for public consumption.
Thirdly they have been able to resolve a host of issues just in one sitting with the governor. Water, employment and power related contentious issues were resolved in just one sitting. This shows that they are capable of burying their so-called differences.
Do you see any of them coming to power next time?
No I do not see that happening. They must not forget that in 2014, the people voted purely on emotions. Issues and problems facing the state were not the criteria for the voter.
In Telangana the people voted for the TRS out of gratitude as the new state had been carved out. In Andhra Pradesh, the vote was more against the Congress as the people blamed us for the bifurcation of the state. They chose Naidu over Jagan Mohan Reddy as they found the former to be a better administrator.
I see the role of the national parties such as the Congress and the BJP becoming stronger in the years to come. The problems of the states cannot be solved by regional parties.
Do you see a solution to these latest bout of allegations regarding phone tapping and cash for MLAs scam?
There is not going to be a solution because both parties (TDP and TRS) will not pursue it. It is a game of one upmanship aimed at keeping the rivalry between the two states alive. KCR is well aware that these allegations will not stand the test of the law.
Phone tapping is illegal and clearly he has not ordered it with the permission of the Union Home Ministry as the law mandates. Hence he will not take the matter to court. Naidu on the other hand realizes that this is part of the game and will not push the issue any further. Both CMs know that such tactics are necessary to stay relevant.
Should the Union Government interfere?
In so far as the phone tapping issue, the Union Government will need to interfere. After all it is the Union Home Ministry which has to give permission to tap phones. I feel the issue must be taken up by the Union Government.
Why is there a delay to the elections of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Council?
You must ask KCR that. He is not at all sure of winning the polls. All surveys would point towards the defeat of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. This is the only reason for the delay in my view.
Lastly, what suggestion would you give to end this Telangana-Andhra Pradesh rivalry.
The solution is simple. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are in India and the people must understand that.