Thursday, June 25, 2015

KCR And Naidu Fight Over 'Delhi Advisory' To Govt Control

By Newscop
Group Managing Editor
Reports that Telangana and Andhra Pradesh's governor ESL Narasimhan received a go-ahead for taking charge of law and order in the city as per provisions of Section 8 in the AP Reorganization Act kicked off a storm of protests with several TRS leaders flatly rejecting any such condition. 

Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) meanwhile met the governor and informed him that any move to invoke (governor's) powers under Section 8 will be opposed by the state Cabinet.

Narasimhan told KCR he has not received any communication from the Centre regarding Section 8. Later in the day , state BJP president G Kishan Reddy said there was no truth in media reports that the controversial section is to be implemented.

The state government is likely to get a clarification on the issue after chief secretary Rajiv Sharma and DGP Anurag Sharma meet officials of the Union home ministry on Wednesday in New Delhi. The duo are scheduled to attend a meeting in the national capital called by the Centre on a separate issue and plan to meet home ministry officials on the sidelines to discuss issues related to the cash-for-votes case.

TRS Rajya Sabha member K Keshava Rao told reporters at the party headquarters on Tuesday that there has been no official communication from the NDA government on the implementation of Section 8.He reiterated that Union home ministry officials said no advisory has been sent to the governor on the subject.

“The bribery case is different and the law and order issue is different. Revanth Reddy was caught red hand ed by the ACB and Elvis Stephenson's call records revealed that AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu spoke to the nominated MLA. How is that related to any law and order issue?“ Keshava Rao asked. Earlier, in his hour-long morning meeting with the governor, KCR presented a detailed note on the law and order situation in Hyderabad over the last one year.

He said there is no threat to law and order in Greater Hyderabad and the cash-for-votes bribery case is being handled by the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the state government has nothing do with the investigation. He also informed the governor that he would protest if the Centre implements the section. Meanwhile, to prepare for any eventuality , KCR plans to mobilise support from other chief ministers heading regional parties to build support to oppose the removal of law and order responsibilities from a state government.

“KCR will seek the support from non-BJP chief ministers such as Ma non-BJP chief ministers such as Mamata Banerjee, J Jayalalitha, Navin Patnaik, Nitish Kumar and other senior leaders like Sharad Pawar on the issue as Section 8 is against the federal spirit of the Constitution,“ sources in the government said.

The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday claimed to have received a communiqué on the advice rendered by attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi to governor E S L Narasimhan. The letter from the Union home ministry makes it clear that there is no need to issue separate gui delines to operationalise Section 8 of the AP Reorganization Act, the Naidu side claimed. Fortified by this development, AP ministers raised their pitch in wanting the Telangana regime to accept and comply with Section 8 of the Act.

“The communiqué from the Union home ministry to us stated that the advice given by the A-G on Section 8 of the Act has been sent to governor Narasimhan. It also said that a letter sent by the Centre to Narasimhan on August 12, 2014, spelt out the role of the governor in the joint capital.Therefore, there is no need for any fresh guidelines and the governor can step in whenever he wants,“ highly placed sources in the AP government told TOI.

Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting of his top officials on Tuesday evening where he asserted that Rohatgi is currently abroad and that the Centre will issue a statement on Section 8 in a couple of days. According to sources in the Union home ministry , the Centre is of the view that the cash-for-vote and the phonetapping cases have the potential of endangering the federal spirit of the country.

Union minister Y S Chowdhary told TOI from New Delhi that Section 8 of the AP Reorganization Act does not require any fresh guidelines as all other sections are being implemented without any fresh set of rules from the Centre or Parliament. “If Section 8 is implemented from now, it would be with prospective effect. All ongoing cases will continue to be investigated as usual and the law will take its own course,“ he said.

Meanwhile, raising their pitch, AP ministers threatened to press for declaration of Hyderabad as Union Territory if the Telangana government continues to defy implementation of Section 8. “There are 138 sections in the AP Reorganization Act and if KCR does not want to respect one section, he should come out with his stand on the entire act itself,“ said state finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu.

Deputy chief minister and home minister N Chinarajappa urged governor Narasimhan to take control of law and order in Hyderabad city . “Instead of giving good governance to the people, KCR is engaging in cheap politics.As a result, the Centre appears to have decided to bring him back on track,“ he said. “If the TRS government is not ready to implement Section 8, then we will not hesitate to demand Union territory status for Hyderabad city . We agreed to inclusion of Section 8 in the Act in the hope of getting security in the joint capital. 

If that is not possible under the TRS regime, we have no option but to demand UT status for Hyderabad,“ excise minister Kollu Ravindra told the media. Interestingly, Kamineni Srinivas, one of the two BJP ministers in the Naidu cabinet, also came out in support of Section 8 while his party leaders in Telangana opposed the same.

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