HYDERABAD: Even as the Telangana government is going after “unauthorised” properties in Hyderabad, the Centre on Sunday sent a communication to it, proposing amendments to the existing business rules under Section VIII (A) of the AP Reorganisation Act-2014, investing the Governor with powers to deal with law & order in the State capital.
Interestingly, the Centre stepped in just a couple of days after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu shot off a missive to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his immediate intervention for the “protection of properties and interests of Seemandhra people living in Hyderabad.”
In the communication, sent by Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami to the Telangana government, it was proposed to set up a Common Police Board, comprising Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates, which will report directly to the Governor, not the Telangana government. The Governor will have the power to review investigation of any case within the two commissionerates. The Centre also sought to bestow on the Governor powers to appoint or transfer police officials within the jurisdiction of the board. In effect, under the proposal, the Telangana government will have no say in policing in Hyderabad.
What is significant is the timing of the communique, though officially there seems no connection between the demolition drive undertaken by the Telangana government and the Centre’s proposals. The Telangana government, understandably, is up in arms against the Centre for seeking to usurp its powers. “This is unconstitutional and is an attempt to usurp the powers of the State government,” TRS Parliamentary Party leader K Keshav Rao said and made it clear TRS MPs would fight with the Centre. “We will oppose the move tooth and nail,” he asserted. TRS MP B Vinod Kumar said the Centre had no right to take away the State’s power on maintenance of law and order since the Constitution has laid down that law and order is a State subject. “This is not acceptable,” he said.
In his letter to Modi, Chandrababu Naidu requested him to invoke Sections in the AP Reorganisation Act-2014, relating to the special powers given to the Governor for the protection of the properties and interests of Seemandhra people in Hyderabad.
According to sources, Naidu brought to Modi’s notice the recent acts of the Telangana government “targeting” illegal structures inhabited by Seemandhra people and wanted his immediate intervention. He wanted the police department in Hyderabad and Cyberabad to be under the direct control of the Governor. The Telangana government has recently initiated measures to reclaim the Gurukul Trust lands near Madhapur as they had been encroached and some under-construction buildings had also been pulled down. This was followed by the GHMC declaring actor Nagarjuna’s N-Convention Centre illegal.