Rajnath justifies Telangana governor's powers

Rajnath justifies Telangana governor's powers

Amid Telangana Rashtra Samiti MPs voicing their protest in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that the Centre’s move to grant special powers to the Telangana governor to manage law and order in Hyderabad was in accordance with the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

Rajnath pointed out that the recent advisory from the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the special powers of the governor of Telangana was in keeping with Section 8 of the Act, which had created the new state after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The home minister made a brief statement after TRS parliamentarian A P Jitendra Reddy raised the issue in the House and demanded that the Centre withdraw the four-page advisory issued to the Telangana government.

The advisory detailed the norms for the special powers of the governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to deal with law and order in Hyderabad, the temporary common capital of the two states.

TRS members started protesting against the Centre’s move as soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day, with some MPs rushing to the well of the House, demanding that the adjournment motion submitted by Jitendra Reddy be accepted.

Asaduddin Owaisi of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen also joined the agitating MPs.

Subsequently, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked the MPs to go back to their seats and said that Reddy would be allowed to speak on the issue during the Zero Hour. The agitating MPs, however, refused to relent and the Speaker was forced to adjourn the House for a brief period.

When the Lok Sabha reassembled at 11:30 am, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told the House that the home minister would make a statement on the Centre’s communiqué to the Telangana government after the Question Hour.

During the Zero Hour, Reddy contended that the Centre had only made such a move with Telangana. “There are 28 states in the country. Which chief minister would want the governor of his state to transfer SHOs or DCPs (police officers) and take decisions on the files of the Council of Ministers?” he questioned.

Rajnath, however, said that Section 8 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act stipulated that responsibility of the governor extended to matters in the common capital of Hyderabad, such as law and order, internal security, security of vital installations and management and allocation of government buildings.

He also referred to the same Act to point out that although the governor would consult the Council of Ministers of Telangana, his discretion would be final if he is required to act on individual judgment.

Stating that the BJP-led NDA government was keen on maintaining cordial relations with the new Telangana government, the home minister said: “The advisory was issued in accordance with the provisions of the Act.”

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