The Politics on Telangana – III
by Krishnarjun on 07 Dec 2013 5 Comments
The Srikrishna Committee met political parties and held consultations with various groups from all three regions. The report, which came out in December 2010, concluded on the basis of data, that Telangana with or without Hyderabad is either at par with or just a shade below coastal Andhra in many aspects of development. Considering the fact that Telangana started with a low base when Andhra Pradesh was formed, it has achieved high growth when compared with coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, especially since the 1970’s. Infact, of the three regions, Rayalaseema is lagging behind in development, despite the fact that the majority of Andhra chief ministers hailed from that area.


According to the Srikrishna Committee report per capita income figures for the three regions for 2007-08 at 1999-2000 prices are Rs 25237, Rs 27006, Rs 26655 and Rs 23860 for Telangana excluding Hyderabad, Telangana with Hyderabad, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema respectively. 


GDP contribution by region in 2007-08 to overall State GDP is 35%, 8%, 16%, 41% for Telangana, Hyderabad, Rayalaseema, and coastal Andhra respectively. Telangana with Hyderabad has the highest share of 43% in State GDP.


In region-wise sales tax accruals, Hyderabad is way ahead of all other regions with 75.2% of total sales tax in Andhra Pradesh. The numbers for Telangana excluding Hyderabad, Rayalaseema and costal Andhra are 7.6%, 2.9% and 14.3% respectively. These numbers show why Hyderabad is so important for all regions.


The gross cropped area increased in Telangana from 4.8 million hectares in 1956-60 to 5 million hectares in 2006-2009; in coastal Andhra from 4.2 million to 5.3 m ha. In Rayalaseema, it registered a decrease from 3.2 m ha in 1956-60 to 3 m ha in 2006-09. The net irrigated area in Telangana increased from 0.8 m ha in 1956-60 to 1.7 m ha in 2006-09, a 113% increase. In the same period in coastal Andhra, it increased from 1.6 m ha to 2.1 m ha, an increase of 30%. In Rayalaseema, it improved from 0.4 m ha to 0.6 m ha, a 50% growth in the same period. In terms of percentage of irrigated area to gross cropped area, Telangana moved from 17.4% to 50.4%, coastal Andhra from 44.7% to 60.6%, Rayalaseema from 14.7% to 25.3%.


Canal irrigated area increased from 0.11 m ha in 1956-60 to 0.27 m ha in 2006-09 for Telangana. In coastal Andhra, canal irrigation increased from 1.1 m ha to 1.2 m ha in 2006-09. In Rayalaseema, it changed from 70,000 to 110,000 ha during the same period.


Coastal Andhra has natural geographical gradient for canal irrigation and most of its canal irrigation network was developed under the British. It is worrying that the percentage of tank irrigation in all three regions has dipped. In Telangana, the decline is huge, from 64% to 12%; in coastal Andhra from 30% to 18%, and in Rayalaseema from 44% to 6%. It follows that much irrigation in Telangana and Rayalaseema is with underground water. Yet it should be noted that after the formation of the State, almost equal area was brought under canal irrigation in both coastal Andhra and Telangana. Efforts definitely are required to replace tubewell irrigation with tank or canal irrigation in both Telangana and Rayalaseema.


The inequalities within Telangana and Rayalaseema increased from 1993-94 to 2004-05. The Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, increased from 0.38 to 0.48, and 0.38 to 0.43 in Telangana and Rayalaseema respectively. In coastal Andhra it decreased from 0.47 to 0.40 in the same period.


Coming to industry, there are 13284 registered factories in coastal Andhra (mostly rice mills), 11422 in Telangana, 886 in Hyderabad and 3844 in Rayalaseema. Workers per factory are 33, 44, 25, 20 for Telangana, Hyderabad, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema respectively.  The average size of factories and the number employed therein is greater in Hyderabad and Telangana. Hyderabad and surrounding areas lead in manufacturing and services.


The Srikrishna Committee has evaluated development in the three regions using wide variety of metrics like agriculture productivity, electricity consumption, road network, rural credit, motor vehicle density, education & employment, consumption expenditure, foreign direct investment, size of land holdings and many others. The committee concluded there is no significant difference in development parameters between Telangana even when Hyderabad is excluded and the rest of Andhra Pradesh. After the Srikrishna Committee report, the separate Telangana leadership started claiming that their fight is for self-respect and not just for economic development.


Hyderabad is important for all regions. As indicated above, Hyderabad is the source of 75% of the sales tax in the State and it has a huge share in the total state revenue. Hyderabad has several State and Central public sector units such as BHEL, ECIL, HMT, IDPL, BDL, Midhani, Hindustan Fluoro Carbons, and Sponge Iron India Ltd. Many medium and small scale units that manufacture automobile components, bulk drugs, pharmaceuticals, textiles etc are located in and around Hyderabad. In services, the city is one of the leading hubs for software exports with more than 1000 IT companies, including many national and international giants. Other areas include the Telugu film industry, world class medical facilities, and a well developed hospitality industry.


Hyderabad is home to 46 research institutions of national importance like DRDO labs, atomic minerals directorate for explorations and research, nuclear fuel complex, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Centre for DNA Finger Printing, Central Forensics Sciences Laboratory, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Directorate of Rice Research, National Institute of Nutrition, National Institute of Fashion Technology.


Almost all institutions of higher education and research in Andhra Pradesh are located in and around Hyderabad, such as Hyderabad Central University, Jawaharlal Technological University, Osmania University, Indian School of Business, Indian Institute of Technology, Birla Institute of Technology, International Institute of Information Technology, National Institute of Design, Centre for English and Foreign Languages, Nizam Institute of Medical sciences, BR Ambedkar Open University, NG Ranga Agriculture University, Potti Sriramulu Telugu University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University. The city has the highest concentration of private medical, engineering and post-graduate colleges in the State.


Thus, the discrimination against Telangana region in development is a myth. Infact, in the last three decades, Telangana has grown much faster than rest of the State in modern sectors of the economy. So the whole argument of backwardness of Telangana falls flat.


The Congress party played with and exploited Telangana sentiment for a decade in a disgusting manner, without making any serious efforts to resolve it. Now, before the 2014 elections, to avoid complete rout in Andhra Pradesh, it is shamelessly dangling the Telangana carrot again. As a true successor to the British, it is implementing divide and rule within linguistic groups after successfully fragmenting Indian society on the basis of religion, caste and region.


The BJP is another big culprit in this episode; it raked up the issue when none existed just to find some political space. Its smaller states argument for better administration is shallow. If it is serious about better administration, devolution of powers to local bodies is much more important. For smaller states, it should have asked for a second States Reorganisation Commission to create states on a rational basis. What business did it have to demand division only of Andhra Pradesh? What about other big states, don’t they need better administration? Why didn’t the party create Telangana between 1998-2004 along with Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand? The BJP leadership claims a patent on nationalism, but so far their behaviour ill-behooves a nationalist party, and they have shown no interest in the issues and concerns raised by the people of Andhra-Seema.


The Telugu Desam Party is another opportunistic player. Chandra Babu Naidu refused to agree to division as long as he was in power. As chief minister he focused heavily on Hyderabad, aspiring to make it a Singapore, forgetting that Andhra Pradesh is not Singapore either in size or in population. He did not change his united Andhra stand even after his 2004 defeat, but just before the 2009 elections, unable to stand up to the ruthless YSR, he made a cold electoral calculation for an alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and supported separate Telangana.


The entire political spectrum played the most cynical political game with the emotions of the Telugu people. If separate Telangana is inevitable, any unilateral decision on Hyderabad would be gross injustice to the other regions of the State. Also, Hyderabad as Union Territory is not desirable as this would not benefit the people of any region. It would be better to give Hyderabad to Telangana with legal provisions for proportionate revenue sharing between the regions for minimum 15 years. As the capital of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad was the main focus of development for close to sixty years. Investments from across the state, particularly from coastal Andhra, substantially moved to Hyderabad.


Telugus and their leaders have failed to live up to the vision of the people who sacrificed for a united Andhra Pradesh. The division won’t stop with Telangana; already demands have arisen for a separate Rayalaseema and separate North Andhra. If separate states are formed to meet political exigencies with cold calculations of electoral benefits and caste dominance, serious questions would arise for national integrity.


Andhra Pradesh has a balanced social composition; though Reddys and Kammas dominate, no particular caste group could dominate the entire state and there is fair representation of others in the power structure. A divided Andhra Pradesh could lead to increased caste polarization among Telugus, and more demands for caste republics in the country. Regional satraps, on the back of caste polarization, would emerge with ruthless power and convert states into fiefdoms. The scope for national parties would further diminish and these caste satraps could dictate to Delhi and severely endanger national integrity and security. States with decent size and social diversity are also necessary for leaders to hone their skills in administration to emerge as national leaders. So far language formed a sound basis for states’ organization; the division of the first linguistic state, cynical opportunistic politics could make caste the new basis.



1. History of The Andhras, Durga Prasad

2.  My Telugu Roots, Chakravarthy Nalamotu

3.  Political History of Andhra Pradesh, Narisetti Innaiah

4. Justice Sri Krishna Committee Report on The Situation in Andhra Pradesh

5. Caste, Class and Social Articulation in Andhra Pradesh, K. Srinivasulu, Department of Political Science, Osmania University



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