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AP, Telangana battle over Section 8: Interstate relations

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What is Section 8?

It is one of the contentious sections of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, the act which bifurcated AP. It deals with Responsibility of Governor to protect residents of common capital of Hyderabad. As Hyderabad has been declared the joint capital for 10years, many Andhra people will be living in Hyderabad, which is geographically located in Telangana. To safeguard the rights of people living in Hyderabad, the reorganization act provides the Governor special responsibility to secure their life, liberty and property.

For this is Governor is empowered by the act to exercise his individual judgment as to the action to be taken in these matters, after consulting the Council of Ministers of the State of Telangana. The Governor shall also be assisted by two advisors to be appointed by the Central Government.


What is the issue now?

The states are sparring over the scope of Section 8 and the extent of powers conferred on Governor. Presently, a vote-for-cash scam is raging in which a Telugu Desam Party(TDP) MLA allegedly on the orders of CM of AP, Chandrababu Naidu, tried to bribe an MLA to vote in favour of their candidate in MLC elections.

TDP alleges that KCR the CM of Telangana has launched a witch hunt against TDP members and illegally tapped phones of the CM of AP. TDP wants the investigation be done under the governor.

TDP got support from the Attorney General of India Mukul Rohtagi, who said that the common Governor of the two States, ESL Narasimhan, should monitor the investigation, as he is empowered to maintain law and order in the joint capital of Hyderabad

The Telangana government, employees associations and TRS leaders have taken umbrage over the statement. They say, they have full control over law and order in the capital. KCR warned to launch an agitation if Telangana’s powers to investigate are curtailed.

Amid these accusations of each other, the AP government has even deployed its own security and police protection for the CM and other key leaders in the joint capital.

This situation is a result of hastily passing the AP reorganization act for political reasons, without arriving at consensus over the provisions of the act between the people of both states.