[3 June 2024] The Hindu Op-ed: The message from the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation

PYQ Relevance:

Q) The political and administrative reorganization of states and territories has been a continuous ongoing process since the mid-nineteenth century. Discuss with examples. (UPSC CSE 2022)
Q) In the context of the diversity of India, can it be said that the regions form cultural units rather than the states? Give reasons with examples for your viewpoint. (UPSC CSE 2017)


Prelims: State Reorganization Acts; 

Mains: Governance Issues; Regional Disparities; State Reorganization; 

Mentor comment: In India, the phenomenon of ‘Regional Disparity’ has been a persistent challenge since independence, with some regions experiencing rapid growth while others lag. These disparities manifest in various forms, such as differences in culture and language, per capita income, access to infrastructure development. The same case evolved in 1956 in the form of ‘state reorganization’ on the linguistic lines. Andhra Pradesh was the first state in India after independence to be formed on a linguistic basis. However, after 2014 bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana created new governance and political doubts in the minds of policy makers. The question is now whether the organization of states should be on a linguistic basis or an administrative basis.

The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh which took during 2014 has led to a significant decline in nostalgia (the pain from an old wound) for the shared history of the two regions. People from both sides are now moving on, with little emotional attachment to their past unity.

Let’s learn.

Why in the News?

On June 2, 2024, 10 years will be completed for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. At the 10th year, Hyderabad ceases to be the common capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

  • However, several critical issues related to various corporations and common institutions between residuary Andhra Pradesh and the new state of Telangana still need to be solved.

About the AP Reorganization Act of 2014:

  • The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 was introduced in Lok Sabha on February 13, 2014, by the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde.
  • The Bill also proposes consequential amendments to The Representation of the People Act, 1950, the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 2008, and the First and Fourth schedule of the Constitution of India.
What were the provisions led under the APR Act, of 2014?

Formation of Telangana: The Bill carves out a separate state called ‘Telangana’ comprising 10 districts of the existing state of ‘Andhra Pradesh’.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will have a common capital, Hyderabad, for 10 years.  After this period, Hyderabad shall be the capital of Telangana only. 

Role of Governor: The Governor of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh shall be the common Governor for both states for a period determined by the President.  
As part of the administration, he shall be responsible for (i) security of life, liberty, and property, (ii) law and order, (iii) internal security, (iv) security of vital installations, and (v) management and allocation of government buildings.

Representation in Parliament: After the bifurcation, Andhra Pradesh will have 11 seats in Rajya Sabha, and Telangana will have 7.  In Lok Sabha, Andhra Pradesh will have 25 seats and Telangana will have 17 seats.

Representation in the Legislative Assembly and Council: 
The total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly for Andhra Pradesh will be 175, and for Telangana will be 119.  
Further, the Governor may nominate one member each, from the
Anglo-Indian community to the LAs of the successor states.  The Legislative Council (L.C.) of Andhra Pradesh will have a maximum of 50 members, and Telangana, 40 members.

High Court: The High Court at Hyderabad shall be the common High Court for the successor states for some time.  Following this, it shall become the High Court for the state of Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh shall get a new High Court. 

Revenue Distribution: The resources allocated by the 13th Finance Commission to the existing state of Andhra Pradesh will be apportioned between the two successor states based on population ratio and other parameters.  

Treasury and bank balances: The cash and credit balances of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh will be divided between the two successor states based on population ratio by adjusting the credit balances of the two states in the books of the Reserve Bank of India.

Polavaram Irrigation Project: The central government will execute the irrigation project in consultation with the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Centre’s assistance for police forces: The central government will assist the two successor states in raising additional police forces.  
The Greyhound and OCTOPUS forces of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh shall be re-distributed between the two successor states.  

The Message from the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation:

  • Regional Economic Disparities (Economic): The economic disparities between the two regions have not been bridged, with Telangana outperforming Andhra Pradesh in terms of per capita GSDP. This gap has remained relatively constant over the years.
    • Urban centers and their surrounding districts are contributing a larger chunk of state revenues, while the agricultural-based regions’ share is negligible.
    • However, the GCRs (Gini Coefficient Ratio) decreased in sectoral district domestic production for all three sectors (Agriculture, industry, and services). The Gini coefficient is often used to measure income inequality.
  • Question on Regional Fault Lines (Administrative): The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh has exposed regional fault lines, including political, historical, and lifestyle differences.
    • The two regions were under different political authorities for 150 years. During the late medievals, the Nizam gave away the ‘coastal’ and the ‘ceded’ districts (Rayalaseema district) to the European powers. 
    • They were ruled from Golconda and Hyderabad for a long time. However, after the independence, they were together after 1956 (the creation of the first state on a linguistic basis).
    • Such parting of ways has not yet happened with the Kannada-speaking area of the Nizam’s Hyderabad State, nor did it happen as yet with its Marathi-speaking area. 
    • Therefore, the question arises, of unity based on language being frailer compared to those of the shared visions of Kannada and Marathi elites.

Challenges around the Federal and Future Scope:

  • Future of Centre-State Relations: The distribution of political power in the central legislature could become a point of friction among states, particularly if there are changes in delimitation that favor certain regions.
    • Andhra Pradesh had 42 Lok Sabha seats and was the largest State in south India. But now, with a mere 25 seats, it is smaller than Tamil Nadu which has 39 seats, and Karnataka which has 28 seats. Telangana, with 17 seats, is smaller than Kerala, thus becoming fifth in the pecking order in the south. 
    • In our federal structure, numbers do matter but grossly unequal sizes among the units can render some regions irrelevant and others more relevant in deciding who holds power at the Centre. This may result in undesirable strains in the federal structure of our Republic.
  • Future of Linguistic States: Andhra Pradesh, in its first five years after the division, got bogged down in its attempt to build for itself as a ‘world-class’ capital, that would overcome the loss of Hyderabad. The next five years were consumed by profligate Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) welfarism.
    • Therefore, the Indian Republic may need to look for alternative organizing principles, such as size or population.

Conclusion: The government needs to underscore the importance of federalism in addressing regional disparities and promoting more inclusive governance. The experience of Andhra Pradesh bifurcation offers valuable lessons for policymakers, highlighting the need to address regional disparities and adapt governance structures to changing regional dynamics.




Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch