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Governor to excercise special powers in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Strongly opposing the central government’s advise to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to exercise special powers to maintain law and order in Hyderabad, the Telangana government has decided to fight any such move.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government has taken exception to the advise by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to the Governor to monitor the probe into the cash-for-vote scam.

A day after the Attorney General reportedly conveyed to the Governor that he has the powers to intervene in such matters under  the Section 8 of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao today called on Narasimhan, the Governor of both states.

During an hour-long meeting at Raj Bhavan, the Chief Minister is believed to have apprised him of Telangana’s strong views on the issue.

The TRS chief also discussed the developments with Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma and discussed various options to oppose the central government’s move. He is also contemplating to seek help from regional parties.

KCR is of the view that the situation in Hyderabad does not warrant any intervention by the governor as not a single untoward incident has occurred in the city since the bifurcation of the state.

TRS has been opposing powers to the governor on the ground that Hyderabad was an integral part of Telangana and the central government should treat it at par with other states.

Under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, Hyderabad has been declared the common capital for a period not exceeding 10 years and the governor has been given powers to ensure protection of all people who live in the city.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government of Andhra Pradesh renewed the demand for implementation of section 8 after an audio tape of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s alleged telephonic conversation with nominated MLA of Telangana, Elvis Stephenson, surfaced on June 7.

While the TRS government claims that the audio tape proves that Naidu was the mastermind of the cash-for-vote scam, Andhra Pradesh has accused it of tapping phones of Naidu and his cabinet colleagues.

Naidu, whose TDP is a partner in the NDA government at the centre, had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand implementation of section 8 and a probe into phone tapping.

The cash-for-vote scam came to light on May 31 when TDP’s deputy leader in Telangana assembly A. Revanth Reddy was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Telangana while trying to give a bribe of Rs.50 lakh to Stephenson to induce him to vote for the TDP-BJP candidate in the Telangana legislative council elections.

The ACB also arrested two aides of Revanth Reddy in a trap laid on a complaint by Stephenson.

TDP termed the case a political conspiracy by the TRS to damage it in Telangana. The arrest and Naidu’s alleged audio tape led to tension between the two states.

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