The Andhra Pradesh government, caught in a cleft stick over the implementation of the Pay Revision Commission recommendations as modified, has apparently diverted people’s attention from this and other burning issues by coming up with the idea of new districts.

The idea of forming new districts is not new. It could have been addressed leisurely. Yet, it has suddenly become an urgent issue as the state government does not want to be seen as having capitulated to its employees.

The YSR Congress party, when it was in the Opposition, had given assurances that it would, if voted to power, implement PRC recommendations. After attaining power, upon assessing the state’s fiscal health, the ruling party conceded that it had given assurances to employees in a different situation without realizing the precarious financial situation.

The state government then came forward with amendments that ultimately whittled down financial benefits that would go to the government staff upon full implementation of the PRC recommendations.Unable to stomach this, the government staff launched a stir against the ‘ill treatment’ given to them. The employees’ unions, apart from issuing notice of an indefinite strike to the government, are unitedly preparing the stage for a long-drawn agitation.

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The government therefore moved forward with a strategy to divert the attention of people from the long-pending main issue concerning implementation of PRC  recommendations with the ‘desired’ level of fitment. While the state government is not inclined to implement the PRC recommendations as per the report of Ashutosh Mishra, employees say the PRC report as ‘amended’ by the government is the first of its kind in the country since employees would get lesser salaries if it is implemented as modified.

This unseemly development prompted the state government to take up the reorganization of the existing 13 districts. It was taken up initially as part of the idea of reconstituting each Lok Sabha constituency as one district.Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy agreed for the creation of two districts for Araku (ST) Lok Sabha constituency as requested by his cabinet colleague. So, the number of districts will be 26, though the number of Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh is 25.
The reorganization of districts, regardless of the basis, would tantamount to opening the Pandora’s Box as new demands are bound to emerge for more districts in the names of prominent figures.

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The principal opposition party is accusing that the reorganization of districts has been taken up without consistency and that it does not reflect the real sentiments and feelings of people in various places. Some say emotional bonding of people with their respective native districts has been neglected. For example, Dwaraka Tirumala (Chinna Tirupati) of West Godavari district has been attached to the new district of Rajamahendravaram.

In the whole exercise, the names of persons, places, Gods and godmen can be found. Persons like Alluri Seetaramaraju, NT Rama Rao, places like Manyam, Palnaadu, Gods like Sri Balaji and godmen like Satya Sai Baba are now the names of some of the new districts.

Other demands for naming new districts have been raised. Sir Arthur Cotton (who was the architect of Godavari& Krishna Deltas), legendary poet Gurram Joshua, first Dalit chief minister in the country and former AICC president Damodaram Sanjeevaiah are among the other prominent names.Sir Arthur Cotton settled in England after retiring in India in the last quarter of the 19th Century and named his home ‘Godavari’. Can’t the present government of Andhra Pradesh reciprocate it by giving his name to the new district of Rajamahendravaram?

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Following the integration of the erstwhile Hyderabad State (Princely State of Nizams) with the Indian Union in 1948, eight districts remained with the Hyderabad region, out of the previous 16 districts, that included five of Marathi-speaking districts and three Kannada-speaking districts, which were merged with Bombay & Mysore states as per the linguistic policy in vogue. Later Khammam district was created from then Warangal district in 1953. After the formation of the integrated state for Telugu people Andhra Pradesh in 1956, Prakasam (1972), Rangareddy and Vizianagaram (1979) were created.

One was created in honour of the royal family of Vizianagaram and the other in the name of prominent politician of Hyderabad state K. V. Ranga Reddy, whose son-in-Law Dr.Marri Channa Reddy was chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh in those days. After bifurcation of AP in 2014, the Telangana government reorganized its 10 districts into 33.

Even if the AP government resolves the PRC issues with an amicable formula  tomorrow, the demands for creation of new districts will continue to be raised now and in the years to come. #KhabarLive #hydnews