HYDERABAD: For the first time after YS Jagan Mohan Reddy assumed charge as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to convene a meeting on August 8 to resolve the contentious issues between the sibling States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The meeting will be held against the backdrop of a cordial atmosphere between the two States.
The main topic of discussion would be the contentious issues relating to IX and X Schedules of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. The power dues between the States and organisations like APHMEL will also be discussed. As many as eight key issues will be brought up at the meeting, to be held in North Block at 3 pm on August 8, sources said.
Talks will also be held on the bifurcation of AP Bhavan, located in Delhi. Telangana claims it was built by the Nizam before the combined AP was formed, and it belongs to TS. But Andhra Pradesh seeks to share AP Bhavan.
There was a dispute about the dues of Discoms both States have to pay each other. TS’ argument was that AP Discoms owed Rs 2,405 crore to TS Discoms. AP, meanwhile, said TS Discoms owed AP Discoms Rs 5,735 crore.The bifurcation of AP State Financial Corporation too will be discussed in the meeting.
What about APHMEL?
Another major dispute between the two States is about over 200 acres of land belonging to the Andhra Pradesh Heavy Machinery and Engineering Limited (APHMEL), situated in Kondapalli, Vijayawada. The value of the land is around `2,500 crore. AP contended that the APHMEL land should be given to AP on an “as is where is” basis. However, TS argued that the APHMEL belongs to Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), which belongs to TS and the Central government. Thus, the land should be give to Telangana, TS officials argued earlier.
TS’ contention is that when APHMEL was at a loss, the undivided AP government wanted SCCL to acquire 81.54 per cent equity in APHMEL in 1998-99. Thus, it became a subsidiary of SCCL. APHMEL’s other shareholders are AP Industrial Development Corporation (5.79 per cent), erstwhile AP government (0.86 per cent) and public (11.81 per cent). It remains to be seen what call the Home Ministry will take on this land. Both States will seek the Home Ministry’s clarification on the definition of ‘headquarters’. This will likely end disputes with regard to institutions listed in the IX Schedule. Meanwhile, TS officials are likely to demand that the Centre expedite the process of setting up of a Tribal University in Telangana, as per the assurance given in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.