Finally, it was left to Majlis MP Asaduddin Owaisi to build a fort around Hyderabad. On Tuesday, the Hyderabad MP made a forceful plea to the Group of Ministers (GoM) against making the city a union territory or giving concessions in respect of law and order or other subjects using the “bogey of threats” brought forward by Andhra-Rayalaseema leaders.
Over a presentation that lasted 27 minutes — during which he politely refused to have a cup of tea — Owaisi told the GoM that the series of proposals being made on the status of Hyderabad would, if accepted, amount to creating mechanisms that do not exist in any other State in the country and lead to severe complications in future.
As members of the GoM, barring Chidambaram and Ghulam Nabi Azad both of whom were absent, heard him with rapt attention, the Majlis leader argued that placing law and order, revenue administration and education under central control only meant bartering the interests of Telangana. “If eventually it happens the same way, I shall challenge the same in the Supreme Court,” he told them.
According to sources, Owaisi began with the issue of law and order and asked Defence Minister AK Antony if there is a threat to defence institutions like DRDO in Hyderabad in a Telangana state. To this, Antony replied “No.” In such a case, how fair is it to say that people of Seemandhra face a threat to their lives in Hyderabad and use it as a pretext to have central control was Asad’s counter.
The MP also pointed out that more than 800 students across Telangana had committed suicide for a Telangana state but never attacked anyone from Andhra-Rayalaseema. His next line of attack was having Hyderabad as a joint capital for 10 years. Demanding that there should be a sunset clause, he sought to know from Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde if he could cite any other instance anywhere in the world where one state has its capital in another state.
“Why do you want to do this and create precedents?” he demanded and pointed out to Shinde that in his own state – Maharashtra – Mumbai was not made a UT when Gujarat was separated, notwithstanding demands to that effect even then.
In regard to municipal administration and the proposal to have that too under central control, Asad pointed out that it goes against the basic tenets of the 74th Constitutional Amendment ushered in by the late Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi. “Is there any municipal corporation in the country which is controlled by the Centre?” he asked.
Asad also strongly argued against denying the Telangana government the right to review land allotments done so far. He brought to the notice of the GoM that Article 191 (F) was deleted through the 44th Constitutional amendment which means right to property is not a fundamental right.
“Assuming that a court of a law strikes down a particular allotment of land, will the Telangana government have the right to resume it or not?” he asked.
As a parting shot, even as the GoM “complimented” him for a good presentation, Asad made it clear that people of Telangana are bound to resent “unwanted concessions” to the other side and even cautioned that it could impact the political benefit that the Congress is expected to derive.
Courtesy: The New Indian Express