Pullarao pentapati – The next governments will be unstable in both Telengana and Andhra Pradesh

Whatever the administrative liabilities of large states, they have one enduring and critical asset and that is stability. Large states usually enjoy stability since it is very difficult to dislodge them mid-stream by defections. Small states on the other hand are inherently much more unstable since even a minor change of allegiances will result in governments becoming cortical.

The next governments will be unstable in both Telengana and Andhra Pradesh

Take the case of Uttar Pradesh. They are 403 MLS.  If a government is formed with 202 MLAs, (50% of the strength of the UP state assembly) then to dislodge it, at least 70 MLAs have to get together to go the Governor and say they are withdrawing support to the existing government. The anti-defection law says that at least one –third of the MLAs must defect together. Only then will the MLAs escape dis- qualification. This huge condition has literally made it impossible for defectors to form an alternate government.

If a state is small, then it becomes easy. Take Haryana for example. It has only 90 MLAs. 5 years ago, The congers s formed a government with  Bhupinder Singh Hood a as Chief Minister. The Congress won only 40 MLAs out f 90. The Congress then lured Independents and MLAs of a small party and formed the government with about 48 MLAs. This meant that the Congress government was dependent on the majority of 3 MLAs only.

So in a small state, the shift of 5 MLAs to either side can make or break a government. But in a larger state like Uttar Pradesh, you need at least 60 MLAs, which is very difficult to get.

Telengana;   The new state has only 117 MLAs. There are 5 major political players:   The TRS, Congress, The YSR Congress, the BJP, the Telugu Desam, the Muslim Majlis and finally the Left parties. There are 7 serious formations who hope wins at least one MLA in the new state of Telengana.

When there are so many equally placed parties, it is very difficult for any one party to get a comfortable majority.  Even if a political party succeeds in getting   majority on its own, there will always be temptations for MLAs to cross over and bring down the government for an office or other spoils.

Many political parties have strength in different areas. For example, the Left parties have proven strength in Khammam District.  The BJP has some presence in the city. The TRS does not have much presence in the city and in Khammam district. The Muslim MIM is a force only in the old city of Hyderabad. This means that the seats will be won by different parties. This geographical dispersal of political parties means that the verdict will be fractured.

The new state of Telengana will be inherently un-stable and the governments will always have to be watchful of its MLAs. Any small shift of the loyalties will be a significant matter. Let us hope that Telengana will evolve a different political culture from what is happening in other small states.

In Andhra Pradesh, which will have 177 MLAs, the situation is only mildly better. The residual Andhra Pradesh ahs two incompatible regions within it. Rayalseema and Coastal Andhra have different cultures and even the social composition is very different. As in Telengana, there are many competing political parties and these parties are also supported by different exclusive castes. This caste-geography divide will make a very volatile situation.

As In Telengana, it will be very difficult to predict stability for future governments in Andhra Pradesh.


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