How Do You Create A New State Anyway?

While there shouldn't be any constitutional or legal hurdles to forming a new state of Telangana, the next big fights will be over Naxalism and the cash cow of Hyderabad. With half of its population in Naxal-affected areas, Telangana will have its work cut out to reap the dividends of its new autonomy.

In 1953, Andhra, India’s first linguistic state was carved out for the Telugu-speaking people of the erstwhile Madras Presidency. Now, 60 years later, the state is being split up to create a separate state of Telangana.

The constitutional framework for creating a new state might not have changed much since the days of the First State Reorganization Commission headed by Justice Fazal Ali, but logistical challenges and vote bank dynamics have certainly made the task more complex. Before Telangana sees the light of the day, there are a host of legal and administrative challenges.

The first step has to be taken by the Union Cabinet to approve the creation of India’s 29th state. The cabinet will form a Group of Ministers (GoM) to draft proposals detailing the bifurcation process which will be eventually drafted into a bill.

Under Article 3(e) of the Constitution of India, the draft bill will be sent by the President to the legislature of the concerned state to seek its approval within a time frame “specified in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow.” 

Since the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) has a bicameral legislature, both the legislative assembly and the legislative council will express their views on this draft bill. However, all this is a mere formality since the President is not obliged to consider the views of the AP legislature.

The draft bill for a formation of a separate state can then be introduced in either house of Parliament. Each house has to pass the bill by a simple majority, which in Parliamentary parlance is defined as half the members of each of the houses ‘present and voting’.

After passing muster in both houses of Parliament, the bill would go to Rashtrapati Bhavan for the President’s seal, specifying the date on which Telangana will be formed. This will be published in the respective gazettes of the Union government and the Andhra Pradesh government signifying the birth of Telangana.

However, in this case there might be an additional Constitutional roadblock. Digvijaya Singh, the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee, has pointed out to the relevance of Article 371D of the Constitution and the need for a constitutional amendment to facilitate the smooth formation of Telangana. Article 371D was inserted by the Constitution (Thirty Second Amendment) Act, 1973 to promote balanced development of Andhra Pradesh by providing equitable opportunities in education and employment in public services to the people of the backward region of Telangana.

This was to give legal sanctity to the ‘Six-Point Formula’ agreed upon by the warring leaders of the ‘Jai Andhra movement’ of 1972 and the Telangana agitation carrying on since 1969. Constitutional experts believe that Clause 10 of Article 371D clearly states that no other provision made subsequently shall disturb the special rules of this amendment. The solution, then, for the government would be to delete Article 371D from the Constitution altogether since the formation of a separate Telangana would no longer require special provisions of Article 371D for the people of this backward region.

However, a constitutional amendment to clear the final hurdle in the formation of Telangana would require a bill to that affect being passed by a majority of the total membership of both houses of Parliament and not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting.

Given the current consensus across the political spectrum over the formation of Telangana, this seems to be a minor roadblock.

While the BJP has demanded that the bill for the formation of a separate Telangana should be introduced in the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning on August 5, Congress leaders are strategizing about maximizing the electoral dividends of the much-anticipated move.

Either way, be it the monsoon session or the winter session, the Congress seems to be the clear winner in the game of reaping the benefits of granting statehood to Telangana.

The real challenge for Telangana will start after the gazette announcement of its formation. That is when the entire state machinery has to be mobilized to kickstart the functioning of the state.

The administrative apparatus existing in Telangana is quite robust. Functioning district courts, 15,000 square kilometers of national highways, 51 percent irrigation density, a per capita income higher than the national average, regional transport offices, modernized police stations and everything else in between required for the functioning of a new state already exist. All that would be required is a new state secretariat.

With the government deciding to keep Hyderabad as a common capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for the next 10 years, the Pearl City is likely to house a new Telangana assembly quite like how the city of Chandigarh hosts the legislative assemblies of both Punjab and Haryana.

But Hyderabad is more than just an administrative capital for the two new states. The city will be the cash cow that will generate the money required to get Telangana on its feet. For Telangana to function, it will need to generate revenue in addition to assistance from the Central government.

However, 75 percent of Andhra Pradesh’s sales tax accrual of Rs 22,000 crore comes from Hyderabad. Telangana’s 10 districts with a poor population of 35 million generate a measly 8 percent of that amount. One of the first things any government would do is to aggregate its revenue collection sources for the state to function smoothly.

That explains why Telangana leaders shudder at the prospect of giving up Hyderabad. That is where the money is. Hyderabad contributes 44 percent of the registered manufacturing, 39 percent of the construction activity and 54 percent of the services GDP in the Telangana region.

While there are 75 notified Special Economic Zones (SEZs) around Hyderabad and adjoining Rangareddy district, the rest of Telangana has just three such clusters. More than half of Andhra Pradesh’s Rs 12,421 crore Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) comes from Telangana, mostly Hyderabad. The face of modern Hyderabad has been sculpted by coastal Andhra money.

Many believe that the enterprising and real estate-loving coastal Andhra businessmen will channel back some their money into cities like Vijayawada, Vishakapatnam, Guntur and Rajahmundry by the time Hyderabad’s fate as Telangana’s capital is finalized in 2023.

But the bigger question everyone is asking is: How much of this investment can be spread out across the other nine districts of Telangana in a bid to promote equitable development and assuage the feelings of discrimination of the people of Telangana?

While the businessmen of Hyderabad want the city to be Telangana’s umbilical cord that can be severed when the baby is ready to face the world, the people of Telangana consider the city to be inseparable to their movement for a separate state.

What will, however, be the biggest challenge for a separate Telangana is something that is not being debated. The so called missing ‘Chapter 8’ of the Justice Sri Krishna report dealing with the internal security challenges of a new state submitted in 2010 was given to the Home Ministry in a separate envelope along with the report.

The internal security challenge is what would separate a successful new state of Telangana from the strife-ridden states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh created by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime in 2000. The common thread between Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand is the overlapping of the ‘Red Corridor’ – an area of heightened Naxal activity presenting serious security challenges to economic development and political stability.

Although Chapter 8 is still a secret, the fears of the Justice Sri Krishna Commission for a separate Telangana can be borne out by the observations made about the other two states. The report notes: “Chhattisgarh, although, it has seen political stability and decent economic growth, has continued to face serious internal security problems particularly from the Maoists. The state has not been able to control and even contain successfully the violence and extortions perpetrated by the Naxalites thereby causing a huge demand and burden on the resources of both the state and Central exchequer. Jharkhand, unfortunately, despite initial signs of better economic performance, has failed to impress in most areas of governance. In ten years, the state has had eight Chief Ministers, besides being under President’s Rule twice. Its economic performance has been dipping steadily and the internal security problems created by the Naxals continue to exist. The unemployment in the state presently is also among the highest in the country.”

To put things in perspective, Telangana’s situation on this front is no different. Five districts of Telangana – Nizamabad, Medak, Khammam, Karimnagar and Nalgonda – are in the red corridor of heightened Naxal activity. These Naxal-affected districts comprise 46 percent of Telangana’s population, all of them poor and receiving grants under the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF). That is a scary scenario for any government taking over the reins of a new state.

A separate Telangana might be finally on the verge of becoming a ground reality. But for India’s yet-to-be-born 29th state, the reality of existence might be prove to be as hard as the road to its parturition.

Sai Manish is a journalist based in New Delhi.

Also on Yahoo! Originals

Delhi rape: What’ll happen to the juvenile?

If convicted in the December 16 Delhi gang-rape case, will he be punished as a juvenile or as an adult? More
The Hunger Games, Again
India has a third of the world's malnourished children. The Food Security Bill proposes to guarantee basic nutrition even as we hear of children dying everywhere from Kerala to Bihar, from malnutrition to eating poisonous midday meals. Amid the march of grim statistics, Meghala's story is a reminder that the systems are failing our children and they are dying right next to us. Read

Politicians Should Upload Satire Sites, Not Shut Them Down

Amid the Narendra Modi satire flap, a stand-up comic explains why. Read

Surviving rape: The story of Suzette Jordan

What happens to you after rape? What happens to you after the police, the media and your chief minister scorn you? How do you begin to live again? An intimate profile of Suzette Jordan as she finds her way back home. Read

What to do if you have been raped

Despite being warned to expect it all your life, despite all the chatter of the last few months, you probably still don’t know how to deal with sexual assault. A comprehensive look at how Indian women can navigate the first few days after rape. Read on

What’s really going on at the CBI

CBI versus IB. Home Ministry versus CBI. Someone's getting autonomy. And it’s all done with smoke and mirrors. Read on 


Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Kolkata vs Bangalore

On Now: Kolkata vs Bangalore

IPL 7, GAME 11—Bangalore bowl, Murali in, still no Gayle. KKR bring in Umesh, Lynn. More »

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

The likely return of Gayle will boost Bangalore, but the result could be determined by Kolkata's bowlers. More »

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting the IPL as a means of protest against the grime in the game may not yield the desired results. More »

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gautam made an eight-ball duck in the opening game against Mumbai and in the second game against Delhi, he lasted only half those balls. More »

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

The group opposed to Srinivasan alleged that since BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel belongs to the president’s group, he was intentionally delaying the SGM… More »

April 24: A legend is born

As Sachin Tendulkar turns 41 - here's a look at some offbeat moments from the Master Blaster's innings. More »

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

Sri Lanka depart for assignments in Ireland and England in two weeks, and Sanath Jayasuriya suggested Marvan Atapattu would be interim head coach for those… More »

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Herath has been rested, while the team will be without the veteran pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from T20 internationals… More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

Dalmiya said that it was the first time that the BCCI had been faced with a situation where the apex court had hauled up the Board and it should have acted… More »

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

The ECB continued the restructuring of the England coaching set-up on Wednesday by announcing the appointment of Paul Farbrace as assistant coach. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

The pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 13 contracted players ended on Wednesday when the latter agreed to accept 10 percent of the participation… More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »