Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and the Power row

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In yet another blazing row, Telangana is raising Cain over the Centre’s recent missive that it has to pay Rs 6,756.92 crore to its sibling state Andhra Pradesh towards the power purchased between June 2, 2014, and June 10, 2017.

The Centre, in its order issued under Section 92 of the AP State Reorganisation Act, 2014, said that since the draw of power took place after the bifurcation of the state (2014), Telangana should not raise old ghosts related to the division of the state but comply with the order.

Telangana has decided to move the court and write to the Centre that it is AP which has to pay Rs 12,940 crore. Telangana said it had borrowed the money to improve power supply in Anantapur and Kurnool in AP, which were under a power utility that operates in Telangana now and questioned the Centre on how it could unilaterally issue such an order.

Telangana believes the Centre issued the order as the state raised its voice against the BJP after the latter began making political promises that it would soon wrest the keys of the castle from KCR. The order is also seen as the BJP’s political masterstroke to ‘punish’ Telangana and reward ‘pro-BJP’ Andhra Pradesh, especially after AP CM Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy sought financial help for his state when he met the prime minister recently. Telangana’s Panchayati Raj department is already under pressure as too many inspection teams are arriving in the state to check MGNREGA works.

At the same time, the Finance department alleges that the Centre was tying the state’s hands financially by not allowing it to go in for market borrowing, citing overshooting the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) limit. It is time now that both the Centre and Telangana separate politics from governance. On the power dues front, even now, it is not too late for the BJP leadership to summon the chief ministers of AP and Telangana and make them settle the issue in the interest of the people.

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