“This is not the time to cross swords but to shake hands”. This message from Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao aptly sums up the new template required for harmonious inter-state relations. His address at the swearing-in ceremony of the Andhra Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in Vijayawada had the hallmark of a statesman, outlining a new paradigm in fostering a friendly and mutually beneficial relationship between the sibling Telugu states. It is time to offload the baggage of a bitter past and work shoulder-to-shoulder for prosperity of the people in the two states. KCR struck a right chord when he emphasised the need for optimum utilisation of the waters of Godavari and Krishna rivers to ensure that every inch of agricultural land in the Telugu States is covered with lush green crops. No problem is intractable if addressed in an atmosphere of conciliation, mutual respect and a spirit of give-and-take. The extraordinary warmth and bonhomie between the two leaders augurs well for the future of both the states. The obstructionist and hostile attitude of Jagan’s predecessor N Chandrababu Naidu had created problems for Telangana. Now, there is a new sense of hope that the pending inter-state issues can be resolved in an amicable manner. It is in the interests of the people of the two states that the leadership should show astuteness, maturity, empathy and fairness in resolving the pending issues. At a time when inter-state disputes often turn into bitter confrontations and linger on for decades, Telangana has set an example in re-defining the relationship with the neighbouring states with a sense of pragmatism and conciliation.
Be it the historic agreements with Maharashtra to end the decades old dispute over irrigation projects or extending the hand of friendship to Andhra Pradesh for resolution of pending issues in a give-and-take approach, the country’s youngest state has shown enormous maturity and set new benchmark in harmonious neighbourly relations. What is needed most is the political sagacity, farsightedness and mutual accommodation in order to shed the baggage of the past and move on with a vision for a better future. Though Jagan was among those who had bitterly opposed the formation of separate Telangana state, the past events should not be allowed to cloud the future and it is time both the Telugu states worked together in an atmosphere of cordiality to fully realize their potential. The Chief Minister’s assertion that his government would maintain cordial relations with neighbouring states sets the tone to usher in a new chapter of cooperation. It is pertinent to recall how KCR’s personal initiative had helped break a new ground with Maharashtra two years ago, paving way for taking up key irrigation projects like Kaleshwaram.