Forgotten Facts of a Dead and Long Buried Sec 8 of AP Reorganisation Act

By: Gautam Pingle

When Christians are buried, they usually have their graves marked RIP – in Latin, requiescat in pace (Rest in Peace). Section 8 of the AP Reorganization Act has not been allowed a decent burial and there are many who want to exhume the decaying corpse. Once again, the smell of a dead Section 8 has delighted Andhra political nostrils and irritated Telangana ones. That this hullabaloo is only a diversionary tactic to muddy the cash-for-vote scam is another matter. The facts are old and forgotten. Time to remember.

The Union Home Ministry on July 6th or 7th 2014 (a year ago, mind you) sent a set of draft guidelines (No 12012/05/2014-SR) for the Telangana Government to incorporate in its Business Rules as the Government of India had no powers to do so. These guidelines, presumably after our policeman-turned-intelligence chief-turned Governor had vetted them, involved – (1) establishing a Board comprising the Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Ranga Reddy to oversee and report to the Governor on law and order matters, (2) review the decision of the Telangana State Cabinet on law and order in Hyderabad (3) establish a common body headed by the Governor and comprising representatives of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governments to effect transfers of police officials.

Needless to say, the resultant minor earthquake shattered the post-election calm of the BJP government at the Centre. The Governor was asked to request an opinion from the Attorney General of India. He in turn on 14th August 2014 advised that there was no need for any guidelines as Section 8 was clear. The Governor had special responsibility for the common capital area, had to be guided by the Telangana Cabinet but could exercise his own judgment if he differed with it.

On 21th August 2014, the Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh told reporters: “We are not encroaching on the powers of the Chief Minister. We are only implementing the AP Reorganisation Act. We are strictly going by the Act”. He also added, for good measure, that the Centre would not do anything that would hurt the federal structure of the country. Amen.

All this happened a year ago and even as late as 30th May, 2015, the Home Secretary told the AP Chief Secretary that nothing more can be done. Except that when caught in the act, the TDP politicians have tried to convince their Andhra public that any injury to the TDP president (and its Telangana MLA) is injury to 6 crores of Andhras.

Will this work? It did not. The former High Court Judge Justice P Laxman Reddy and former IG A Hanumanth Reddy, heading the Greater Rayalaseema Association of Telangana (GRAT), said: ““So far there has been not even a single reported instance of disharmony between people of the two regions living in Greater Hyderabad and we do not want politicians to wreck peace that we enjoy. There is no hostile environment in Telangana that requires invocation of Section 8.”

End of Section 8’s ill-begotten life – one hopes. That is why cremations are more suitable and the ashes in the river make for finality and putting a full stop to the subject. No chance for exhumation; only rebirth. RIP. Hope, it stays that way as I am getting bored of the subject and maybe, so are readers.

Source: The New Indian Express

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