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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

'Telengana' ~ to be the new State; Hyderabad could become new Union Territory


The river originates in Anantagiri Hills near Vikarabad, Ranga Reddy district, and flows due east for almost all of its course. It joins the Krishna River at Pangal in Nalgonda district after covering a total distance of about 240 km ~ the city on its banks is in news now… !!

He is a constitutional authority and yet in the past parties have vehemently queried whether such a post is required at all ?  ~ some parties have expressed that in the interest of smooth Centre-State relations and in a truly federal structure it is desirable that a Chief Minister be consulted on the appointment of a Governor. Article 157 and Article 158 of the Constitution of India specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor.  A governor must be a citizen of India; be at least thirty-five years old; not be a member of the either house of the parliament or house of the state legislature; not hold any other office of profit.

Sure would have heard of this ‘lieutenant governor’ – especially when there is reference to a Union Territory like Pondicherry. Lieutenant-governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction, but is often the deputy or lieutenant to or ranking under a governor — a "second-in-command". In many Commonwealth of Nations states, a lieutenant governor is the representative of the monarch and act as the nominal chief executive officer of the state, province or territory they received appointment, although by convention the lieutenant governor delegates actual executive power to the premier of a province.

The governors and lieutenant-governors of the states and territories of India have similar powers and functions at the state level as that of the President of India at Union level. Governors exist in the states while lieutenant-governors exist in union territories and in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The governor acts as the nominal head whereas the real power lies in the hand of the Chief ministers of the states and the chief minister's Council of Ministers.
In India, a lieutenant governor is in charge of a Union Territory. However the rank is present only in the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi and Puducherry (the other territories have an administrator appointed, who is an IAS officer). Lieutenant-governors hold the same rank as a governor of a state in the list of precedence. The governors and lieutenant-governors are appointed by the president for a term of 5 years.

A Union Territory is an administrative division in the Republic of India. Theoretically, Union Territories are ruled directly by Union Govt – though it is modified in case of Pondicherry, Delhi as they have their own elected legislative council of ministers. The seven Union Territories are : Andaman & Nicobar islands; Chandigarh; Dadra & Nagar Haveli; Lakshadweep; Puducherry [Pondy]; Delhi.  Union territories of India have special rights and status due to their constitutional formation and development.

You are about to watch the birth of another Union Territory much as a compromise rather than by any choice or fore-though. It is that city on the banks of Musi river [earlier known as Muchkunda river] which originates in Anantagiri Hills near Vikarabad, Ranga Reddy district, 90 kilometers to the west of Hyderabad and flows due east for almost all of its course. It joins the Krishna River at Pangal in Nalgonda district after covering a total distance of about 240 km.  The Muchkunda i.e.Musi River is a tributary of Krishna River in the Deccan Plateau region of Andhra Pradesh state in India

There are reports that Hyderabad is likely to be a Union territory for five years and will act as joint capital of the two states to be created out of the bifurcation of the present Andhra Pradesh. News suggest that this new  Union territory will be administered by a lieutenant governor. The governor of the Telangana state will be the ex-officio lieutenant governor of Hyderabad in these five years. A proposal to this effect is going to be put up to the Union cabinet before August 5. The cabinet will meet after the Congress working committee and the UPA steering group approves a proposal to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.

There is  still no official word on whether the newly created State would be :  Telangana or a Rayala-Telangana state. The former will consist of the ten districts of Telangana and the latter proposal envisages the addition of two Rayalaseema districts — Anantapur and Kurnool to the proposed Telangana state. Interestingly, the Andhra part of the bifurcated state will be called Andhra Pradesh.  TOI states that Congress party bosses are hopeful of completing this process within a week because Parliament convenes for the monsoon session on August 6. A bill might be presented in this session itself. Meanwhile, with Kiran Kumar Reddy having already resigned, a new chief minister for integrated Andhra Pradesh to oversee the process of bifurcation will be appointed. In all likelihood the new incumbent will belong to Telangana. However with intelligence reports suggesting that there will be major trouble in the Seemandhra region [a term connoting Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra] in the wake of the announcement, it seems inevitable that President's rule will be clamped in the state till the process of bifurcation is complete. Much of the trouble is expected to be fomented by interested parties although spontaneous outpourings are not unexpected. Seemandhra ministers including Union ministers who met Prime Minister on Saturday to convey their opposition to the bifurcation seemed crestfallen with Manmohan Singh hearing them out and promising nothing.

So in the formation of a new State – Telengana, there is going to be another Union TerritoryHyderabad’ as well..

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

30th July 2013.

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