Congress Seemandhra member Jairam Ramesh, who played a key role in the AP bifurcation process spoke in favor of the Polavaram Bill in Rajyasabha, comparing it with the emotional attachment shown by Telangana public for Hyderabad, an undisputed, integral part of Telangana. He made every effort to show in his address that this amendment bill was actually drafted word to word by the erstwhile Congress government. He has appealed to the present government that all care be taken by the AP government with regard to resettlement and rehabilitation of the 45 – 50 thousand displaced families of Telangana, Andhra, Odisha and Chattisgarh, as per the 2013 Land Acquisition Act.
He has conveniently indulged minimally on the objections he himself raised as the environment minister with regard to submergence and rehabilitation in Chattisgarh and Odisha. He has sufficed the explanation to mere mention of Rs. 600 crore embankment assurances offered in an affidavit by former Andhra government in Supreme Court.
Kalpataru Das, BJD member from Odisha spoke against the Bill. He has revealed that entire administrative centers of Malkangiri district are being submerged by the backwaters. The gram sabhas are not even consulted, rendering the federal structure of the country namesake, pointed out the Odisha member.
D Raja, CPI member from Tamil Nadu suggested that a revision of the design be undertaken as the proposal first was made several decades ago. Keeping up with the technical developments of the times, a re design could satisfy all the requirements of states concerned.
But the volte face of Jairam Ramesh will come as a big shock to Congress Telangana members. But is this done by the silent compliance of Congress leadership? What would be the implications of this for Telangana and for Congress here and in Seemandhra?