The Telangana government on Saturday appeared on a collision course with the Centre after it refused to "honour or implement" the latter's directives with regard to special responsibility vested in the governor for maintenance of law and order in greater Hyderabad.
Section 8 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, vests the governor of Telangana with special responsibility to protect the residents of the common capital of Hyderabad. The powers extend to maintenance of law and order, internal security, security of vital installations and management and allocation of governmental buildings.
In a letter to Telangana Chief Secretary Rajeev Sharma on Saturday, S Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, had issued certain directives in pursuance of Section 8 of the Act, which the state government today refused to honour or implement "in any circumstances".
"Entrusting the Governor with special powers is against the spirit of the Constitution of India. The Telangana government is functioning in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Governor too should act as per the decisions of the state Council of Ministers," the Chief Secretary said in his reply to the MHA letter today.
"Our government shall not honour or implement the Centre’s directives under any circumstances," he asserted and cautioned the Centre against infringing on the rights of the state government, official sources said.
The chief secretary dashed off his reply to the MHA after a meeting on Saturday morning with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Governor E S L Narasimhan, who is common for both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The "norms" that the MHA letter wanted the state to follow included power to the governor to call for any record or information or decision of the Council of Ministers or any authority relating to the responsibilities envisaged under Section 8 of the Act.
The MHA letter said the Commissioners of Police of Hyderabad and Cyberabad and the Superintendent of Police of Ranga Reddy district shall furnish periodical reports on law and order to the Governor in addition to special reports on all "grave and specially grave" crimes in the common capital area.
The governor, it said, will be assisted by advisors appointed by the government of India.
In case of exigencies, the governor can call for a report or assessment from the state government upon which he can ask specifically for reallocation of staff on a temporary basis, the letter said.
The management and allocation of buildings to all the departments of the successor states shall be decided by the Governor on the advice of the Telangana state based on the recommendations of a committee of senior officers constituted for the purpose keeping in view the requirement and availability of accommodation and the "decision of the governor shall be final", it said.
It also spoke about setting up of grievance cells to ensure the safety of the property of the people residing in the common capital and giving power to the governor to issue necessary directions to the officials of Telangana for protection of the property rights of the aggrieved.