Hyderabad/New Delhi: With no decision on the appointed date for formation of Telangana State taken yet, the party leaders as well as the electoral officers in Andhra Pradesh are in a state of confusion over whether the polls will be held in united Andhra Pradesh or in two separate States.
The election authorities here are keeping their fingers crossed over the issue. If one goes by the statement made by the Union Minister for Tribal affairs, Jairam Ramesh, in New Delhi then the new state of Telangana may come into effect only around May or June depending upon the date of notification in the Gazette.
Addressing the media, Jairam, quoting what he said in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, said that it would take at least three months for the State to come into being from the date of notification. He said the notification would mention the appointed date. In case of the three States of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, it took three months from the date of notification, he said. Once the new State comes into effect, there will be two Chief Secretaries, two DGPs etc.
However, another section in the Congress feels that there is no need for three months time to bring the new State into effect. These days with the help of technology, all the formalities like division of employees, sharing of assets, division of offices etc can be done in much less time and elections can be held in both the States separately.
The T leaders close to Union Minister Jaipal Reddy claim that the AICC president Sonia Gandhi is also of the same view.
The election authorities in the State have said they are prepared to conduct the election in two states if the Centre so decides. According to sources in election commission, elections in both the states will be conducted under the supervision of one Chief Electoral Officer only. Meanwhile, Jairam Ramesh said that the Centre has decided to constitute two committees to work out the modalities for the division of offices. A special cell under the deputy chairman of Planning Commission will be set up for devolution of funds to both the states, he added. One is a cell created in the Ministry of Personnel for the division of cadre between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The other is a Special Cell set up in the Planning Commission under its Deputy Chairman to address developmental needs of the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh in their totality and ensure adequate financing for fulfilling them.
From the appointed day, there will be two States, two Chief Ministers, two Chief Secretaries and two DGPs , Jairam Ramesh said. With this, there will be two Telugu Chief Ministers in the meetings of the National Development Council meetings.
Soon after the Presidential Assent to the Telangana Bill, the Central Government will take steps for the Gazette Notification. In the case of the three States of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh created by the Vajpayee Government, it took three months for the bifurcation process to be completed.
The Congress-led UPA government hopes to complete it sooner than that.
As far as transfer of the villages under the submergence areas is concerned, it was decided to transfer some villages. But now, the government is mulling over an ordinance for the transfer of some mandals from Khammam district into East Godavari in the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh. In Burgumpad, he said six villages are to be transferred to East Godavari district.