The Telangana government and the Centre are at loggerheads over special powers given to the governor of that state and Andhra Pradesh over law and order in Hyderabad, the shared capital.
What has upset the Telangana government?
The Centre has cited provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, which grants special powers to the governor to ensure security in Hyderabad, the shared capital for 10 years. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti government headed by K Chandrasekhara Rao says law and order is a state subject.
What does the Act say?
The governor can, after consulting the council of ministers of Telangana, use his personal judgement and take action in matters relating to law and order, including police transfers in the shared capital. The governor can also call for records or information on decisions of the council of ministers if the subject relates to such responsibilities. The police commissioners of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and the SP of the neighbouring district of Ranga Reddy are also required to furnish reports on law and order frequently to the governor. The Act says the governor’s decision is final and the validity of anything he or she does cannot be called into question. The Centre had also asked that a special cell each, headed by an officer not below the rank of inspector general of police, be set up in Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Ranga Reddy districts to protect people of Andhra Pradesh living in Hyderabad and to deal with hate crimes and crimes relating to extortion.
When were these provisions made?
The UPA government, while drafting a reorganisation bill, heard out concerns expressed by people living in Hyderabad and proposed vesting special responsibility in the governor for the common capital. The Bill was passed with these provisions in both Houses in Parliament, amid objections by the AIMIM’s Asauddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP. TRS members including K Chandrasekhara Rao, however, did not put up much opposition then.
What has happened to upset KCR now?
The Centre has spelt it out. In a letter to chief secretary Dr Rajeev Sharma on August 8, joint secretary (Ministry of Home Affairs) S Suresh Kumar wrote: “The subject matter of smooth and effective implementation of the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, in consonance with the provisions of the Constitution of India is a matter of concern for the central government from the point of view of the law and order situation and the safety and security of the people of both states of AP and Telangana during the establishment and till such time as the two states become fully functional. Section 8 of the Act casts a special responsibility on the governor with respect to the issues of law and order, safety and security of the people and vital installations as wells as the management and allocation of government buildings in the common capital.”
What is KCR’s stand?
He insists the governor has to act as per the advice of the council of ministers. “Any attempt to micro-manage the administration through the governor, bypassing the council of ministers, is a direct affront to the federal polity of our country,’’ he says.