The cash-for-vote scam and the entwined phone-tapping controversy have reignited the debate on who should administer law and order in Hyderabad, the shared capital of southern neighbours Andhra Pradesh and Telangana till 2024.
Law says governor ESL Narasimhan, who oversees both the states, has been vested with a special responsibility for the security of life, liberty and property of all people residing in Hyderabad. The governor’s role extends to law and order, internal security, etc, and he is advised by the Telangana government while discharging such functions, according to mandate. The governor’s decision, though, is considered final.
This important legal provision was incorporated by the UPA government around the time of Telangana’s creation, given the open hostilities between the people of the two regions and the concerns expressed by a section of political leaders and businessmen from Seemandhra, fearing damages to properties in the capital city.
However, since the bifurcation last year, the Telangana government under K Chandrashekar Rao has kept law and order in Hyderabad under its purview.
While no violence or threat to Seemandhra people has been reported over the past year, the Naidu-led Andhra Pradesh government, which is operating from Hyderabad — sharing a secretariat, assembly and official residences, etc — is opposed to this authority enjoyed by Rao and has been demanding the power be vested in the governor.
The Telangana government is unwilling to concede ground and is giving assurances of security to everyone. The matter is pending with the Union home ministry before which the chief secretaries from the two states have argued their cases several times.