Tension is brewing between the TRS government in Telangana and the NDA government at the Centre, posing challenges to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “cooperative federalism” mantra.
At the centre of the tussle is an office memorandum sent by the MHA entrusting the Governor with more responsibilities in matters of law and order and other issues concerning the common capital area of Hyderabad and the transfer of seven mandals in Khammam district to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh for the purpose of Polavaram project.
The TRS has moved a notice in Lok Sabha challenging the introduction of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill for transfer of the mandals. The government Monday deferred its introduction in Lok Sabha with Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying the government is in the process of obtaining recommendation of the President for its introduction. Sources, however, said the challenge to introduction of the Bill is weighing on the government’s mind.
TRS MP and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha told The Indian Express that the party has given a notice challenging the introduction of the Bill under Rule 72. She pointed out that the Gazette notification on the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 announcing the formation of separate state of Telangana was issued on March 1.
“From March 1, we are a separate state although the appointed day was fixed at June 2. Therefore, to alter its boundaries, the President under Article 3 of the Constitution has to first send the Bill to the state legislature seeking its views. They should send it to the state for ratification of the Assembly,” she said. The TRS has been opposed to transfer of the mandals and it had observed a day-long bandh in May.
Adding to the tension was the new office memorandum which she says has given the Governor a larger say in postings, even that of a station house officer.
What has irked the TRS government more is that the Home Ministry circular asks the state government to send its comments or take necessary action for amending the business transaction rules of the government on the lines suggested in the circular.
“While Modi, a former CM, is talking about how states should be empowered and the Centre should have lesser and lesser powers, this is the other way around. Under the pretext of common capital, the Central government is literally encroaching into the state’s domain,” Kavita said.
Rao will send a letter to the Centre in the coming days. Sources said he has also spoken to several chief ministers seeking their support as the TRS plans to raise the issue in Parliament if the circular is not amended or withdrawn. A TRS delegation led by Kavita met Rajnath Singh and raised the issue. Sources said the Home Ministry could amend the office memorandum.