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TDP sees a foe in governor

Ministers target him for his alleged bias towards Telangana in cash-for-vote scam.

By P.s. Jayaram

Published: Fri 19 Jun 2015, 11:54 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:58 PM

Hyderabad: Governor for the two states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, E S L Narasimhan, till recently considered a ‘friend’ of AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, is now the hot target of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government for his alleged bias towards Telangana in the wake of the cash-for-vote scam which has placed the two states on the warpath.

AP’s grouse against the Governor has been that he has not taken control of the law and order in Hyderabad “as provided under section 8 of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.” The TDP government’s argument has been that the safety and security of people from Andhra Pradesh and their properties in Hyderabad was at stake, and that Narasimhan should act and take the situation under his control.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi government, however, shot down the claim stating that there was no threat to the safety, liberty and properties of people from AP living in the capital, and that the TDP government raised the bogey of the Governor not assuming responsibility only after the cash-for-vote scam surfaced. The demand for the Governor’s intervention grew particularly louder following speculation that Naidu may be served notice by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Telangana after an audio tape surfaced, purportedly containing the conversation that the AP chief minister had with nominated Telangana legislator Elvis Stephenson pertaining to the Rs50 million deal.

The strained relations between the AP government and Narasimhan hit a new low when five AP ministers, addressing the media after a marathon cabinet meeting, cast aspersions on the Governor’s functioning. “The Governor is acting like a gangireddu (a bull that is dressed, decorated with bells and taught to dance during festivals in this part of the world), nodding his head to whatever the Telangana CM says,” AP Minister for Labour and Sports K Achhennaidu said.

“As the common Governor of both the states, Narasimhan has full powers under the AP Reorganization Act and Section 8 mandates him to punish those who commit mistakes. The Governor, however, is not discharging his duties,” he said.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP Vinod Kumar, meanwhile, sought to demolish the TDP’s argument over Section 8, stating that it clearly states that the Governor shall intervene only on the advice of the Telangana government if the situation so demands. “There has not been a single incident (pertaining to law and order) in Hyderabad which warrants the intervention of the Governor. The TDP leaders’ demand to ensure liberty and security amounts to nothing but freedom to carry out corrupt practices,” he said.

In another major setback to the beleagured AP chief minister, the Election Commission of India has not only asked the Telangana government to continue ‘vigorously’ with the probe but also take the case ‘to its logical end.’

The TDP has been claiming that the cash-for-vote scam should be treated as an electoral offence and not a Prevention of Corruption Act offence.

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