AP, Telangana battle over Section 8

MSOMASEKHAR Hyderabad | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 23, 2015

Question of power: Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao (right) meetingGovernor ESL Narasimhan in Hyderabad on Tuesday. BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Provision for Governor controlling law and order in Hyderabad sparks row

The scope of Section 8 of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 has provided fresh spark to the raging cash-for-vote scam row between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The reported remarks by Attorney General of India Mukul Rohtagi that the common Governor of the two States, ESL Narasimhan, should monitor the investigation, as he is empowered to maintain law and order in the joint capital of Hyderabad, has drawn mixed reactions here.

The Telangana government, employees associations and TRS leaders have taken umbrage over the statement.

The Telangana government has full control over law and order in the capital, and any deviation may have it approaching the Supreme Court, they said.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR) met the Governor here this morning. A section of the TRS said KCR may go for an agitation if the Centre vests such powers with the Governor. The provision of the Act had nothing to do with the scam, but was just a political ploy to divert attention from it, they added.

On the other hand, the AP government welcomed Rohtagi’s remark and found fault with the stand of the Telangana government. “Why should the KCR government now oppose it when they accepted it during the passage of the Bill?” asked State Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu. The Act does say Hyderabad will be the joint capital for 10 years, during which period the Governor will ensure law and order, he argued.

What does the section say?

The section says, “On and from the appointed day, for the purposes of administration of the common capital area, the Governor shall have special responsibility for the security of life, liberty and property of all those who reside in such area. The responsibility of the Governor shall extend to matters such as law and order, internal security and security of vital installations, and management and allocation of government buildings in the common capital area.”

There is also a mention that the Governor will have two advisers and will consult the Telangana Council of Ministers before firming up decisions.

However, these provisions have been questioned by leaders of the TRS over time.

The issue has come to the fore again following the allegations of the AP government that the phones of its leaders have been illegally tapped by the Telangana police.

In addition, some TDP leaders, including Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, have complained of attacks on the properties of people from Andhra in Hyderabad over the past year.

The AP government has even deployed its own security and police protection for the CM and other key leaders in the joint capital. DGP JV Ramudu also assured the nearly dozen mobile operators who have been asked to depose before the SIT, that protection would be provided to them if necessary.

Published on June 23, 2015
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