New Delhi: A day after Parliament passed the Telangana Bill, Centre on Friday started the process of division with the Department of Personnel and Training setting up two committees for allocation of civil services and state government officials to the two Telugu speaking states.
"Two committees have been set up in the department DoPT. One committee will allocate officers of all India services, and one committee will do the allocation of state level employees--to start the process of allocation of personnel," Union Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters here.
There are roughly 84,000 state government employees in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
Ramesh, who played a significant role in the bifurcation process, said the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 , which has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, will go to the President for his approval and then it will be notified.
"In the case of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand ...from the date of notification it took three months for the new states to be formally coming to being. That is called the appointed day," he said.
The Minister said the appointed day of both Seemandhra and Telangana will be fixed in such a manner that a lot of preparatory work for division of cadre, for allocation of assets and liabilities and for other preparations is completed.
'This work has already started,' he said adding that on the appointed day, two states with have two Chief Ministers, two Chief Secretaries, two DGPs etc.
"No decision has been taken on the appointed day. But it has been three months (after notification in the past)," the Minister said.
Ramesh rejected criticism that Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 is not constitutional.
'It is fully constitutional,' the Minister said citing that Article 3 and Article 4 of the Constitution empower the central government and Parliament to make such provisions, "particularly the provision which is questioned namely giving special responsibility to the Governor for law and order in the common capital area of Hyderabad."
"We have resorted to Article 3 and Article 4 and there are four Supreme Court judgement...1959, 1979, 2002 and 2006. Four Supreme Court judgements have upheld Article 3 and Article 4 for purposes of reorganisation of states," he told reporters.
The Minister emphasised that the Government was fully within the Constitution in giving special responsibility to the Governor.
"The Governor will act on the advise of the Council of Ministers of Telangana and he has been given special responsibilities for law and order and internal security," Ramesh said.
He also dismissed "propaganda by certain vested interests" that the bill is only looking after Telangana and not taking care of Seemandhra.
"We have adopted a middle path. The state of Telangana has been created in this bill by ensuring that the interest of Seemandhra are fully protected," Ramesh said.
"This is not a decision taken in haste. It is not a unilateral decision of one or two individuals.... It is not a decision taken with an eye on the 2014 elections. It is a long standing, long drawn out process. It took time and adequate consultations had been held with all sections," he said.
Reaching out to the people of Seemandhra region, Ramesh said the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill creates Telangana but not at the cost of Seemandhra.
Citing various provisions in the bill for the development of Seemandhra region, the Minister said the decision made by the Government on Polavaram project is a 'very strong signal of our commitment for the welfare of Seemandhra'.
He said that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde while presenting the bill in Parliament has said that Polavaram project would be executed as a national project and it was the Centre's responsibility to obtain all necessary clearances including full rehabilitation and resettlement.
Referring to the commitment made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his speech on special package for Seemandhra region, Ramesh said the special development package was for four districts of Rayalseema and three districts of north coastal Andhra.
"What is the development package? The Prime Minister has said it is like KBK (Koraput, Balangir and Kalahandi) package of Odisha or the Bundelkhand package of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh," he said.
Ramesh said that a special cell will be created immediately in the Planning Commission under the Deputy Chairman to address the developmental needs of Seemandhra and also ensure adequate financing for fulfilling them.