Officials busy with nitty-gritty to see new States are at least barely functional
As the appointed day for the birth of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh approaches, Central government officers are working frantically on the nitty-gritty to ensure that the new States will become functional at least in the barest possible way.
Although re-organisation of States has taken place six times since Independence, the bifurcation of the composite Andhra Pradesh is the only one of its kind. The last re-organisation involving bifurcation of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar was done in 2002. This exercise was relatively smooth politically, administratively and legally. The National Democratic Alliance government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the beneficiary of the ground work that had begun during the tenure of the Deve Gowda-led United Front government in 1996. As a result, all stakeholders were on board when the new States were born.
In contrast, the run-up to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was turbulent. Constant flip-flops by the UPA government added to the confusion.
Even after Telanagana and Andhra Pradesh come into being on June 2, their linkages will likely to continue for several years. For, Hyderabad (the bone of contention) would be their common capital for a maximum period of 10 years to enable Andhra Pradesh to build its own capital. There is no precedent of this kind in the country.
The immediate bother for the Centre is to prevail upon the leaders of the to-be-born States to take oath as members of the united Andhra Pradesh Assembly and then part ways. The peculiarity has arisen as the Assembly elections took place simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.
As the Election Commission conducted the elections to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, the newly elected members have to take oath as its members and subsequently become members of the new Houses. There were reports suggesting that Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief and Chief Minister-designate K. Chandrasekhar Rao wants to take oath as member of the Telangana Assembly.
Another first is that both States would have the same Governor for such a period as determined by the President. The unique arrangement has been necessitated by the fact that thousands of people from Seemandhra who have economic interests in Hyderabad fear for their safety.
Last week, the Centre appointed an Advisory Committee headed by C.R. Kamalanathan to look into cadre allocation issues in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.