By: J R Janumpalli
The central government is acting like a step mother towards TS in the implementation of A.P.R.A. There are too many meetings taking place, without central government’s resolve to adjudicate the matters impartially and as a tacit constitutional duty. The bias by the center is quite apparent towards its ally the TDP govt. in A.P. It has never taken an objective view on several transgressions of A.P.govt and failed to decide the issues based on the merit. It looks like the BJP government wants to keep the things simmering like that for obvious political reasons.
There are several issues which are being delayed inordinately. One such example is PM keeping the division of AIS officers pending, though it is a simple matter with well laid out policy and practices adopted in the earlier division of states. It also does not include any regional overtones. The matter is languishing superfluously in the PMO under the very nose of PM.
The dodging and complicating the issue of division of state employees; the inaction on the division of assets; The indifference to the power imbroglio between the two states; the predation of A.P.government on TS funds in the joint bank accounts of different departments; inaction on the institutions not covered in the reorganization act; not resolving the disputes on the institutions covered in the act etc. are important issues causing a great deal of inconvenience in the functioning of TS government.
Periodically, many meetings with home secretary of the center and governor of the state are taking place, without resolving the issues. Whenever TS government is raising these issues, the center is glossing over them deliberately and is raking up the issue of operationalization of the Section-8 of the APRA. The section deals with the special responsibility of the Governor to protect the residents of the common capital. As if it is the most pressing matter in the scheme of the things. As such a situation is developing, where in it looks like that, the Center likes the TS government to compromise on many vital issues in favor of A.P. for getting its cooperation. TS with so many un reasonable restrictions against it, thanks to Congress and BJP in A.P.R.A. is in no mood to relent.
One such laidback meeting convened by Union home secretary Anil Goswami with the chief secretaries of both AP and Telangana state, to resolve disputes between the two states, on 28th November is reported to have failed to broker the peace, as usual. The Telangana CS, Rajiv Sharma, raised objection over the correspondence of the AP government with the home ministry without even informing the TRS regime and wanted that a copy of its complaints to the Centre be marked to the Telangana government.
He also objected to the manner in which the AP government was ‘diverting’ to itself funds lying in the accounts of the united state and requested the Centre to ensure that Telangana’s share is protected. Sharma also pointed out that the C R Kamalanathan Committee should be given more freedom so that it need not visit New Delhi for every small clarification on the employees’ distribution. Referring to the water row with AP, the Telangana CS said the then TDP government had issued several orders on water release from Srisailam complicating the issue and sought the Centre’s intervention to ensure equitable distribution of the river water between the two states at the earliest.
On the other hand, the A.P. CS, apart from demanding operationalizing section 8 of the AP reorganization act and coercing TS government to agree for a common schedule for the intermediate examinations had nothing tangible to complain against TS. Goswami as usual said he would take a decision after discussing the issue of intermediate exam with the law department. This minor issue, which is urgent, since it deals with the timely conduct of exams, could have been solved instantaneously consulting with the law department.
As for Section 8 of the AP Reorganization Act, it gives special responsibility to the governor for the security of life, liberty and property of all those who reside in the common capital of Hyderabad. Raising the issue, Andhra Pradesh chief secretary IYR Krishna Rao reported to have said, that several issues related to the joint capital region require its implementation. Responding to this, Telangana chief secretary Rajiv Sharma said the TRS government has already made known its objections to the Centre on this issue in writing and that a discussion on section 8 at this juncture was ‘unwarranted. ‘Goswami assured them that he would seek the opinion of the law ministry on the contentious issue and asked both the state governments to abide by the decision that would be taken by the Centre in consultation with the law ministry.
When TS has submitted its objections in writing earlier the law department could have examined them and come to a decision on the matter. Though the heads of the departments were present in the meeting why the issues were not discussed in depth and amicable decisions were not taken on the issues raised by TS is not known. If the law department opinion was necessary it was not invited to the meeting to expedite the resolution of the contentious issues, at least minor issues like intermediate exams. It all suggests a lack of interest.
By the complaint of the CS of Telangana State it is quite apparent that AP was making complaints to Center without even bringing to the notice to TS, leave alone deliberating with it on them beforehand. The obvious indifference of the Centre to take these matters seriously also is quite apparent here. The whole purpose of the meeting appears to be reminding TS urgently the section 8 of the Act and dangle it over its head to make it fall in line. Earlier also in Power distribution and Krishna water board deliberations the same kind of dissolute attitude was shown by the Center towards TS.
Instead of providing a categorical concern to the issues raised by the TS, which are more urgent and are becoming bottlenecks in the administration of the state, the home secretary treated them as routine and promised to talk to the concerned departments. On the contrary, he has homed on to the section 8 of the act, as if it is more germane to the context. And promised to refer it to Law department and asked the two states emphatically to be ready to abide by the Center’s decision. It appears ominous.
For implementing the section in any form will again ignite passions and it will lead to more deteriorating situation in the relationship of both the states. And moreover there is no apparent reason to invoke it at this time except granting the itching wish of A.P.to have a quarrel with TS to divert attention from its internal problems. And create a law and order situation where in operationalization of the section or imposition of President’s rule is probable.
Though the Center and A.P. with their nexus have succeeded in pushing TS government on to its back foot, it will not be possible for them to succeed in their designs of coercing it to capitulation. If the recent refreshingly meaningful conduct of TS Assembly session and its pragmatic budget is any indication, the TS government is stuck to its task of governance of the state resolutely and promising to deliver the goods.
In contrast the A.P. CM is running away from the problems of his state and roaming around the countries in private planes canvassing for assistance to his ‘world class’ capital; while the Centre is taking care of TS on his behalf. He is behaving like the alter-ego of Modi with hyper publicity of his meetings with premiers and many company heads, reminiscent of his publicity glitz in his earlier stint allegedly spending Rs.350 crores of the state exchequer. Old habits die hard.
There is need to bring out this undemocratic antipathy of the central government to TS. It should be made to act responsibly to perform its duty constitutionally in the impartial implementation of A.P.R.A. It should be expeditious and constructive to make both the states function effectively and without superfluous conflicts.