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Centre should act

Centre should act
Highlights

Euphoria inTelangana and pensiveness in residuary Andhra Pradesh marked the bifurcation of the State. A year after, the two States, while chalking out a destiny for themselves, are still locked in certain tangles. But, such irritants are not uncommon. The history of bifurcation of States in India is replete with examples of unresolved issues rocking the successor States.

The Centre has to take all necessary measures to meet the expectations of Telangana, and heal the wounds of Andhra Pradesh

Euphoria inTelangana and pensiveness in residuary Andhra Pradesh marked the bifurcation of the State. A year after, the two States, while chalking out a destiny for themselves, are still locked in certain tangles. But, such irritants are not uncommon. The history of bifurcation of States in India is replete with examples of unresolved issues rocking the successor States.

The time has come for reconciliation and accommodation to resolve the pending issues. The Centre has to proactively act as bifurcation falls in its domain. But, driven by politics, the NDA government is maintaining a strategic equidistance. On the other hand, the Centre promised many things for the successor State at the time of bifurcation. But, the two States are annoyed over the Central government’s intransigence.

The most significant of the unfulfilled promises is the grant of special category status to Andhra Pradesh. But, Andhra Pradesh has to live in a state of hallucination in this regard with politicians trumpeting with empty rhetoric. The Section (8) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act of 2014 states that for the purposes of administration of the common capital area, the Governor shall have special responsibility for the security of life, liberty and property of all those who reside in such area.

This remains a bone of contention between the two States. The Centre should henceforth finally clarify so that the controversy dies down. The Act envisages a separate High Court for the State of Andhra Pradesh. But, the process is still delayed much to the ire of both the States.

The Section 46 of the Act promises that, “The Central Government may, having regard to the resources available to the successor State of Andhra Pradesh, make appropriate grants and also ensure that adequate benefits and incentives in the form of special development package are given to the backward areas of that State (46(2)). The Central Government shall, while considering the special development package for the successor State of Andhra Pradesh, provide adequate incentives, in particular for Rayalaseema and north coastal regions of that State (46 (3)).”

But, the Centre has allocated only a paltry amount for this purpose. As per the Section 69, the Central government is mandated to give directions on generation and supply of electric power and supply of water. But, the Centre largely refrained from exercising this power when the two States were locked in conflict over Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar.

The Act also empowers the Centre to distribute services personnel. But, this is yet to be completed to the satisfaction of the parties concerned. The Section 94 (1) of the Act promises that the Central government shall take appropriate fiscal measures, including offer of tax incentives, to the successor States, to promote industrialisation and economic growth.

The Central government shall support the programmes for the development of backward areas in the successor States, including expansion of physical and social infrastructure [94 (2)]. But, both the States have been publicly expressing their displeasure over the quantum of central assistance received so far.

The Section 94 (3) promises that the Central government shall provide special financial support for the creation of essential facilities in the new capital of the successor State of Andhra Pradesh. The AP government is annoyed over the lukewarm response from the Centre in regard to the State’s plans to build a grand capital.

The Central government has to take all necessary measures to meet the expectations of Telangana, and heal the wounds of Andhra Pradesh and ensure speedy reconstruction of the State.

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