Thursday, April 25, 2019 09:17 AM

Bifurcation reduced political clout of Telugu people


The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh has significantly reduced the political clout of Telugu people. The worst fears of protagonists of united Andhra Pradesh have come true. The West Bengal chief minister, with her 34 members in Lok Sabha, is the cynosure of Opposition activity, with both the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh chief ministers playing supporting roles.

The united Andhra Pradesh had 42 seats in Lok Sabha, equal to that of West Bengal. Now, after the bifurcation of the state, the residuary Andhra Pradesh has 25 members in Lok Sabha while the remaining 17 are left with Telangana. Now, the strength of MPs from Andhra Pradesh are less than that from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, and equal to that from Rajasthan. Telangana is much smaller state in terms of its representation in Lok Sabha. On the contrary, only UP, Bihar and Maharashtra had more Lok Sabha seats than united Andhra Pradesh.

In an age of fractured verdicts and fragmented polity, the representation in Lok Sabha is critical for exercising political clout at the Centre.

Andhra Pradesh, with over 30 seats, was instrumental in catapulting UPA to power in 2004 and 2009.

 Meanwhile, the BJP's emergence as a strong force and the saffron party coming to power on its own changed the political arithmetic much against Telugu politics. BJP is not dependent on its allies so much that the Telugu regional parties can influence the national political scene.

Meanwhile, the competitive politics of TRS and TDP to grab space in national politics, the YSR Congress introvert politics that does not see BJP as an adversary, the interstate issues that remain unresolved, the animosity left behind by bifurcation, make it difficult for Telugu politicians to unitedly voice their identity in the national polity despite geographical division.



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