Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde,
Ministry of Home Affairs,
Government of India,
Subject: Response to Terms of Reference from Group of Ministers constituted for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
We would like provide our suggestions and inputs based on the general consensus across various groups and organizations and sentiments of the people of Telangana.
ToR no:2. Look into the legal and administrative measures required to ensure that both the state governments can function efficiently from Hyderabad as the common capital for 10 years.
1. Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh should be made according to the norms used for most other state formations in India, where no ‘legal or administrative’ framework was created to compel two new successor states to operate their capital cities from a city belonging to one of the states.
a. Since it is not the prerogative of the Parliament to decide the capital cities for the successor states, the newly formed states should be allowed to decide on the capital cities from within their territories.
2. The only mechanism that is acceptable to people of Telangana is that of ‘transitory’ capital wherein Seemandhra may continue to operate out of Hyderabad on a temporary basis for few months while they start moving out to a new capital city from within their territory. This mechanism is based on ‘goodwill’ of Telangana without any imposed conditions.
3. Any ‘legal or administrative’ framework whereby certain state powers are taken over by Union Government without consent of State Assembly of Telangana will be firmly rejected by people of Telangana. No state was formed with such an imposed mechanism and Telangana should not be the first one.
4. The responsibility of Law & Order over all its territories including that of Hyderabad has to remain with Telangana. Handing over this responsibility to Union Government will set new precedent in future state formations where a newly formed state is treated as ‘irresponsible’, and therefore ‘incapable’ of handling the security concerns of people living in that state.
a. Even when widespread riots occurred in Mumbai or in Bangalore, no such powers were taken away from the State Government. So the relevant question is – why should Telangana give up those responsibilities when no incidents related to security have taken place? What is the basis for these fears? Are they based in real incidents or imaginary?
b. Right now diverse communities live in Telangana. There are Marathis, Kannadigas, Gujarathis, et al, scattered over the entire region. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians live in various parts of Telangana.
c. Why should the security of certain section of people, viz. Seemandhras override the security concerns of other sections of people, especially when none of the Seemandhras were targeted in the last thirteen years of intense agitations?
d. If we were to assume that Seemandhra people living in Hyderabad feel insecure, what about Seemandhra people living in the rest of Telangana? Shouldn’t they be protected as well?
e. Such a precedent will lead to Union Government assuming State powers over Bangalore and Mumbai just because many non-locals may start feeling ‘insecure’.
5. The model used in case of Chandigarh cannot be used for Hyderabad. Making Chandigarh a Union Territory has created huge upheavals for people of Punjab and led to internecine militant and secessionist movement in this country. Such examples should not be repeated.
6. The model used in case of New Delhi cannot be used for Hyderabad. New Delhi continues to be a Union Territory with certain State-like powers conferred to it through Constitutional Amendment. Therefore, the Union Government could retain certain powers with itself. That cannot be applied to States.
ToR No: 3. Take into account the legal, financial and administrative measures that may be required for transition to a new capital of the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh
1. People of Telangana do not accept any mechanism whereby revenues generated from territories belonging to Telangana are shared with another State. Such a mechanism goes against all norms of state reorganization in this country.
a. There are many Gujarathis living in Mumbai, owning businesses. But revenues from Mumbai are not shared with Gujarat.
In summary, any attempt to handover the powers over Hyderabad to Union Government or to Seemandhra Government will be firmly rejected by entire Telangana. We believe that people of Telangana will rise up in a major protest if status of Hyderabad is not defined in clear and unambiguous terms.
For Mission Telangana.