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All-party meet in Andhra to discuss Hyderabad as ‘free zone’
Hyderabad, Mar 17 (IANS)
Published on 18 Mar. 2010 12:09 AM IST
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The Supreme Court’s refusal to review its order declaring Hyderabad a “free zone” for recruitments in government jobs triggered a fresh row, with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah Wednesday calling an all-party meeting to decide future course of action. Rosaiah told the state assembly that he had no objection to passing a resolution urging the central government to bring a constitutional amendment to set aside the Supreme Court order. Amid strong protests by Telangana leaders of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the chief minister called the meeting to discuss the issue. “Hyderabad is part of sixth zone and not a free zone,” Rosaiah told the agitating members. He, however, said the issue was sensitive and could not be discussed in an open house. In October last year, the Supreme Court had declared that Hyderabad was not a part of Telangana but a free zone as far as recruitments and postings in government were concerned. The state government’s Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging the order was dismissed by the Supreme Court Tuesday at the admission stage. This would mean that people from all parts of the state would have equal rights in jobs, postings and promotions in Hyderabad. People of Telangana had so far been enjoying local area status here with 70 percent quota in government jobs all these years. Hyderabad had remained part of zone VI, along with Ranga Reddy, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Nizamabad and Medak districts of Telangana. Telangana, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad, was merged with then Andhra State in 1956 to form Andhra Pradesh. But the people of Telangana were given certain safeguards in appointments under the Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1956 and a subsequent Presidential Order and six point formula. Following the October order of the Supreme Court, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) revived the movement for separate statehood for the region. The state witnessed massive protests for and against the demand. The latest judgment came at a time when a five-member committee headed by Justice Srikrishna is looking into the issue of statehood for Telangana. TRS leader Harish Rao said the court order would cover appointments to 18 departments, including the police. “This will badly affect the interests of Telangana people,” he said.

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