Apart from addressing the status of Hyderabad, there is another major issue - Article 371(D) - that needs to be resolved if the Centre is determined to proceed with the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

With various theories and arguments for and against the validity of 371(D) after bifurcation and the Presidential Order, resolving it first is important.

Article 371 (D) is a special provision for the State of AP, and its primary purpose was to promote speedy development of backward areas, balanced development and to provide equitable opportunities and facilities to people of all regions in the fields of education and public employment.

Subsequently, the Union government had issued the Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Organisation of local cadres and regulation of direct recruitment) Order, 1975, popularly known as the Presidential Order. It divided the State into six zones, ensuring that the residents of each zone got certain benefits, privileges and safeguards.

The report forwarded by the State government to the GoM on Telangana on various issues that the bifurcation will throw up, suggested that if any de-merger is contemplated, serious deliberations should take place on the special provisions required to keep harmony in the residuary State and in the new State.

“Post-bifurcation, residents cannot be deprived of benefits without suitably amending Article 371 (D), and consequently, the Presidential Order. But, as things stand, Article 371 (D) will not empower the President to make any special provision or to extend any special provision to any new State that may be carved out of AP,” the report said.

One cannot assume that any region in AP does not require the continuance of similar provisions like Article 371 (D), which was given constitutional protection following serious deliberations.

Deliberations should again be held until there is consensus on the nature of the special provisions, and on that basis suitable amendments should be made to the Constitution and an article similar to Article 371 (D) should be introduced in the Constitution for the new State. But, all these have to be made before the new State is formed, the report averred.