Centre should stick to bifurcation act: Telangana minister
The Centre should stick to the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Act 2014 on the issue of special powers to the Telangana governor, a state cabinet minister said Tuesday.
Information Technology and Panchayat Raj Minister K. Tarakarama Rao told IANS that the circular issued by the union home ministry last week has gone beyond the Act.
"It (circular) tries to define the governor as the authority which the Act doesn't say. The Act merely says he will have to act as per the advice of the council of ministers. If they stick to that, there is no issue here," said Tarakarama Rao, son of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
The home ministry has issued a circular suggesting several norms that give sweeping powers to the governor over law and order in Hyderabad, the common capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government in the newly-created state has refused to implement the norms, terming it an attack on federalism and violation of the constitution.
While the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government claims that it acted in accordance with the bifurcation Act, the TRS feels it has gone out of the purview of the Act.
"We believe that this could very well have been the handiwork of bureaucrats in the home ministry without really bringing it to the knowledge of the home minister or the prime minister," KTR, as the minister is popularly known, told IANS.
He said the clause 3 of section 8 of the Act clearly says the governor will act on the advice of the council of ministers.
"This is what exactly happens in 28 other states of the country. We have requested the prime minister to maintain same status for Telangana also," he said.
The chief minister has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to re-look at the issue. He wrote that this may well have happened without the knowledge of the prime minister.
"If you want to do something out of the reorganisation Act, either you have to bring an ordinance and ratified it by parliament or you may have to go for constitutional amendment.
"It is not something that central government bigwigs would have intended to do. We will wait for an official word from prime minister before deciding our next course of action," KTR said.
The minister said the central government cannot be picky and choosy.
"When it came to Polavaram (merger of over 200 villages of Telangana with Andhra Pradesh), you had issued an ordinance. You went out of the purview of the Act, choose to issue an ordinance and got it ratified by parliament.
"If you have to implement the Act, implement it in toto. You should not have brought about ordinance on Polavaram. You cannot be selective on what you pick and what you will not pick," he added.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called a meeting of TRS parliamentarians Aug 18 to discuss the issue.
Telangana Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy Tuesday said if the Centre went ahead with its orders for special powers to governor, the TRS would launch a movement.
(Posted on 12-08-2014)