The Centre may ignore the strident demand voiced by Seemandhra Congress leaders to make Hyderabad a permanent Union Territory and instead make provisions in law to safeguard the interests of people from other regions settled in the State capital.

This was reflected in the interactions that a group of Union Ministers from Seemandhra had with party leaders and Ministers in Delhi, including Digvijay Singh and Jairam Ramesh. The GoM dropped hints that UT status was not possible though it said an arrangement could be made to protect the interests of Seemandhra people settled in Hyderabad.

The Ministers were in for a shock when Mr. Singh said it was too late for them to make the demand for a Union Territory and advised them to meet party president Sonia Gandhi. Sources said the Centre was mulling two options on the status of Hyderabad during the 10-year interim period when Hyderabad would be capital for Telangana as well as residuary AP.

Crucial issues

Crucial issues such as safety, security, law and order and protection of properties belonging to people Seemandhra settled in Hyderabad through suitable legislative and legal measures are prime concerns.

The area of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation would be the boundaries of the common capital.

First option

The first option it is said to be examining the scope of taking recourse to Article 258 (A) wherein the Union Government can confer powers on the State in certain cases. The Article says, “President may with the consent of the Governor of a State, entrust either conditionally or unconditionally to that Government or officers functions in relations to any matter to which the executive power of the Union extends.”

The other option it is studying is Article 371 (H) which empowers the Governor of Andhra Pradesh to control law and order.

It says, “The Governor shall, after consulting the Council of Ministers, exercise his individual judgment on the action to be taken.”

Correction

>>In the penultimate paragraph of “Centre unlikely to accord UT status to Hyderabad” (Nov. 28. 2013, some editions) there was a reference to the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. It should have been Andhra Pradesh.