For Congress, Hyderabad is the new Chinese puzzle - The New Indian Express

For Congress, Hyderabad is the new Chinese puzzle

Published: 06th September 2013 07:47 AM

Last Updated: 06th September 2013 11:32 AM

How long will the Centre take to resolve the Hyderabad puzzle? For all practical purposes, that is likely to determine the time it takes to take its T decision to a logical conclusion.

Informed sources told Express the Centre has now come to the conclusion that it would be difficult for it to move ahead without first deciding on the status of Hyderabad which is proposed as a joint capital for both Telangana and Andhra for 10 years.

It is now crystal clear that the time-frame for Telangana — whether it will happen during the winter session of Parliament or drag on to the subsequent vote-on-account session — will depend on how quickly and amicably this issue is resolved.

It is more than likely the Cabinet note, whenever it is prepared, may propose quite a few options on Hyderabad to facilitate further discussion on the merits/demerits of each proposal before arriving at a mutually acceptable formula. The issue is only getting complicated as Hyderabad will have to serve as permanent capital for Telangana and “temporary” capital for Andhra.

Among the various options being floated or under consideration, the chief are as follows:

a) Hyderabad as joint capital with Union Territory status. Even then, should it cover only the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) or be extended to the territory of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Area (HMDA) is another question.

b) Hyderabad as a partial UT. In other words, bringing such crucial subjects as law and order and revenue under a neutral cadre (central control). Instead of doing this, another proposal which is expected to meet the same purpose is also being proposed and that is appointment of a Commissioner of Police for Hyderabad city only with the consent of chief ministers of the two states. He would work under the guidance/supervision of a committee comprising the Chief Secretaries/Directors General of Police of the two states. Likewise, a separate desk in the Raj Bhavan, headed by a non-local IAS officer, could be created to look into any concern of Andhras settled in Hyderabad.

Another proposal is also being mooted by Seemandhra leaders who are said to be seeking support of important sections in Hyderabad for this idea and that is, to create a separate state of Hyderabad. If that has to be done, all the 36 constituencies under the purview of HMDA will have to be brought under Hyderabad which will have its own Assembly. Hyderabad will then be a separate state, while also serving as the joint capital. “By doing so, the Centre will actually be dividing Telangana and not creating the state we wanted,” a TRS leader said. However, this proposal still seems to be floating in the air and has not reached a stage where it could form part of the Cabinet note.

After his latest visit to Delhi, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is said to be upbeat that the Centre has finally realised the difficulties in bifurcating the state. “If they don’t make Hyderabad a UT, Seemandhras may not keep quiet. If they do so, there will be backlash in Telangana. Whichever way one looks at it, it is going to take considerable time before the issue is resolved,” he reportedly told some ministerial colleagues who met him on Thursday.

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