Telangana: In balancing act,Centre plans special package for Seemandhra

According to this,a single governor will be appointed for 10 years for both Telangana and Seemandhra.

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published:October 5, 2013 3:02 am

The Centre has begun work on a special package for Seemandhra,which includes extending tax concessions such as those provided to hilly states,a special grant for backward areas of the state and a political assurance on law enforcement by bringing it directly under the governor.

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While these issues will be deliberated in detail by the Group of Ministers established to work out details of splitting the state,sources said a broad legal framework has already been prepared based on political consultation within the Congress as well as between the party and the government.

According to this,a single governor will be appointed for 10 years for both Telangana and Seemandhra,by when a new capital for Seemandhra would be ready. Since law enforcement will be under the governor,officers from the UT (union territories) cadre could be posted in Hyderabad.

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Further,sources said,there will be two separate assemblies and high courts in Hyderabad for which the GoM will have to suggest modalities. While there is a separate building available in Hyderabad to start a new assembly,sources said the government will have to discuss with the Chief Justice of India on how soon a new high court could be set up.

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It is learnt that these broad details have been conveyed to the protesting ministers and MPs of the Congress,who were told that they could make suggestions to improve the package for Seemandhra and the GoM headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram would take this into account.

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As it is,the party’s own initiative — the A K Antony committee – is still holding deliberations to find political answers to douse tempers. But with Seemandhra going on the boil after Thursday’s Cabinet decision,the Centre’s immediate focus was more on ensuring safety and maintaining peace.

Additional armed paramilitary forces of about 7,000 personnel are stationed in and around Hyderabad. This,officials said,was an anticipatory move and more forces could be reached if the situation worsens. The Centre was in close touch with Governor E S L Narasimhan as well as state government officials as protests threatened to turn violent.

At the same time,the home ministry also issued the terms of reference for the GOM Friday. These are very broad and cover almost every aspect of splitting the state:

* To determine the boundaries of the new state,its electoral constituencies,judicial bodies and other administrative units.

* To firm up the legal and administrative measures for smooth functioning of Hyderabad as a common capital for the two states for 10 years.

* Identify legal,financial and administrative measures needed to create a new capital for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh.

* Examine special needs of both states and recommend measures. The GoM will also study issues related to law enforcement,safety and security as well as evaluate long-term internal security implications arising out of the bifurcation.

* To look into the sharing of river water,irrigation resources and other natural resources as well as take up the matter of declaration of the Polavaram irrigation works as a national project.

* Find ways to deal with issues related to power generation,transmission and distribution as well as complications arising out of assets distribution.

n The GoM will also look into issues concerning distribution of employees,including in all-India services.

*To examine any other issue arising out of this decision.

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