Telangana runs into Hyderabad hurdle
By GS Vasu | Published: 15th September 2013 09:51 AM |
By all accounts, the Congress seems to be in an utter state of confusion on the issue of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
For the first time since the July 30 CWC resolution, doubts are beginning to grow in the minds of the party’s Telangana leaders about the way forward, while the belief among Andhra representatives that nothing would happen before the 2014 polls is gaining strength with each passing day. And, insofar as Delhi is concerned, the left hand doesn’t seem to know what the right is doing, if what happened a week ago, during the absence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is any indication.
According to highly reliable sources, in accordance with the CWC resolution that Hyderabad should be the joint capital for both Telangana and Seemandhra, the Home Ministry prepared a note with three options and even the minister concerned, SushilKumar Shinde, reportedly signed it. It was after stiff protest from the T-side and intervention of some senior Congress leaders that the note has been kept on hold and a fresh one is said to be under preparation.
What were the three proposals that this note, now abandoned, proposed? a) Hyderabad will be permanent capital for both the states and shall be made a UT covering all those areas which stretch up to the geographical link between Telangana and Andhra/Rayalaseema; b) Hyderabad will be the joint capital for 10 years with UT status and the Government of India shall fund the building of a new capital for Andhra; c) Hyderabad will be a separate state as UT with both Telangana and Andhra having their respective capitals elsewhere. These are precisely the three options that Shinde referred to in his briefing to the media as well.
As word spread about the preparation of note and mobile phones buzzed from all sides, the note is said to have been kept pending. But, the key here is the explanation given by the Home Ministry official concerned and that pertains to Hyderabad--there is no way the city could be a joint capital without it being declared a UT and that requires a Constitutional amendment as well. Though the Constitution does not contain any explanation or proviso in regard to location of a state capital, there is no precedent of a state having its capital outside the geographical territory (which is what will happen if Hyderabad is capital for Andhra as well) unless it is a UT.
Not surprisingly, there is a shift in stance of Telangana leaders, particularly the TRS and the TJAC. Having initially accepted Hyderabad as a joint capital, they are now arguing that it is not acceptable and the city could, at best, be a transit capital for Seemandhra. Though they are blaming the meetings/rallies being held by Andhra groups in Hyderabad in favour of United AP as the reason for the change in position, the underlying fear seems to be that such a proposal could lead to complications good enough to stall the formation of Telangana.