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Telangana to fight powers to governor in Hyderabad

Adding to the woes of Naidu was the airing of a tape purported to contain the conversation he had with Stephenson assuring him of honouring the commitments.

By P S Jayaram

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:43 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:59 PM

Hyderabad — The political storm brewing in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for the past three weeks in the aftermath of the cash-for-vote scam on Tuesday threatened to escalate into a major Centre-State controversy with the Telangana government questioning the propriety of Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi’s advise to Governor E S L Narasimhan to invoke the contentious Section 8 of the AP Reorganisation Act.

Rohatgi, in his communication to Narasimhan on Monday, said: “The governor has special powers under Section 8 of the AP Reorganisation Act, since the two states share the capital, Hyderabad, and two different police forces have jurisdiction in the city. Under the circumstances, the Act says the governor has the responsibility of maintaining law and order in Hyderabad. Hence, the governor can summon the two state police and get them to report to him on this case and he can monitor it.”

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who called on the governor on Tuesday following the developments, is reported to have made it clear in no uncertain terms that control of law and order in Hyderabad should remain with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government.

“There is no reason for you to invoke Section 8 since there has not been a single incident concerning law and order in the city or a situation that threatened the life and property of people of AP living in the capital since the creation of Telangana last year,” KCR pointed out to the governor.

 The imbroglio follows AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s allegations that his phone along with that of his cabinet colleagues and other top Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders were tapped by the TRS government. The allegation were leveled soon after the Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) caught TDP legislator A Revanth Reddy red-handed while offering a bribe of Rs5 million to nominated Telangana legislator Elvis Stephenson to cast his vote in favour of a TDP candidate in the legislative council election last month.

Adding to the woes of Naidu was the airing of a tape purported to contain the conversation he had with Stephenson assuring him of honouring the commitments. According to some reports, the Centre has even asked governor Narasimhan to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case in the interest of peace and tranquility in the two states as well as Hyderabad.

Terming the move asking the governor to invoke Section 8 as “undemocratic and unconstitutional,” several cabinet colleagues of KCR including Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari and Agriculture Minister P Srinivas Reddy held media conferences on Tuesday and condemned the Centre’s intervention.

“This is nothing but an attempt by Naidu to wriggle out of a situation where he has been caught on the wrong foot and accused of being corrupt. The law should be allowed to take its own course in the cash-for-vote scam where the ACB has a water-tight case,” they said, adding that the State Government would not be cowed down by such tactics and would seek judicial recourse and go to the people if any attempt was made to invoke Section 8.

 Several Telangana organisations have also threatened to launch an agitation if Section 8 was invoked and Hyderabad, which is at the heart of Telangana, is sought to be brought under the control of the governor.


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