Saturday, July 20, 2024

Change in inter-state relations No change in AP-TS disputes

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SNCN ACHARYULU
Hyderabad

Although nine years have elapsed after bifurcation of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh state, several disputes between the two Telugu states viz. Telangana and residual Andhra Pradesh have still not been resolved.The only difference is that in the combined state the disputes pertained to the two respective regions and post bifurcation they have become ‘inter-state’ disputes.

During the Telangana statehood agitation, the then Telangana Rashtra Samiiti leadership used to say often that Andhra Pradesh state should be separated from Telangana region so that Telugu people could “live like brothers” in the two states. As for people of the two Telugu states, they are living like brothers as ever.

Noticeably, the differences are among political parties of the Telugu states. Purely for their political advantage, political parties are trying to provoke people in both states.

Post bifurcation, in Telangana TRS (BRS) and in Andhra Pradesh TDP came to power. The TRS leadership had stamped Telugu Desam Party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu as ‘anti Telangana’. During the first five years after bifurcation, the differences between the two Telugu states were very bitter. The ruling TRS in Telangana and the TDP in Andhra Pradesh traded serious allegations against each other. During that period, the major disputes between the two Telugu states were not settled.

In the 2018 Telangana Assembly elections, TRS retained power and in the 2019 Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, YSR Congress defeated the ruling TDP and came to power.  After YS Jagan Mohan Reddy became the Chief Minister of AP, there was a lot change in the relations between the two Telugu states. During the TDP regime, Chandrababu and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao never met to discuss the disputes between the two Telugu states.

In contrast, in the initial days after Jagan became CM, both the Telugu Chief Ministers met several times and decided to resolve the disputes between the two states amicably and in an exemplary manner. However, gradually both the Telugu Chief Ministers stopped meeting each other to discuss the pending inter-state disputes.

Presently the relations between the two Telugu states are somewhat better than those of the TDP regime. But this has not helped in resolving the disputes between the two Telugu states. Like in the TDP regime, at present both the Telugu Chief Ministers are not criticising each other.  However, the main disputes between the Telugu states such as those relating to sharing in river waters, power sector and division of assets, are still continuing between the two Telugu states.

The BJP-led central government also tried several times to resolve the disputes between the two Telugu states. But the efforts of the central government went in vain.Finally, the Andhra Pradesh government approached the Supreme Court against the Telangana State government over the division of assets of the institutions mentioned in the 9th and 10th Schedule of the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganization Act.

The Andhra Pradesh state government has requested the Supreme Court to resolve the division of assets worth Rs 1,42,601 crore.The Andhra government alleged that the Telangana State government is not cooperating in division of assets between the two Telugu states according to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act.

When Chandrababu was the Chief Minister, he had adopted a tough attitude towards the Telangana government over the division of assets between the two Telugu states. The Telangana government had decided to demolish the Secretariat buildings to construct a new structure in its pace. For this, the Telangana government asked the then AP Chief Minister Chandrababu to hand over the Secretariat buildings which had been allotted to them.  But Chandrababu linked this issue with the division of assets between the two Telugu states.

After YS Jagan became the Chief Minister, he showed soft corner towards the Telangana government. As part of restoring cordial relations between the two Telugu states, Jagan handed over the Secretariat buildings to the Telangana government.Later, both the Telugu Chief Ministers met several times and decided to resolve the river water dispute. But no issue has been resolved between the two Telugu states till date.

The Telangana government’s argument is that AP has no right in demanding a share of the assets of institutions mentioned in the 9th and 10th schedules. The Andhra Pradesh government’s argument in the TDP regime, and carried forward in the present YSR Congress regime, is that the assets should be divided between the two Telugu states on population basis as mentioned in the AP Reorganization Act.  Now this crucial issue is before the Supreme Court. 

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