The Central government has nominated Telangana CM KCR as the Vice Chairman of Southern Zonal Council. Union Home Minster Rajnath Singh is nominated as the Chairman. The Southern Zonal Council, comprises the States of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry. Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha was the Vice-Chairman for an year till 10 July, 2014 and KCR is nominated to succeed her, retrospectively, from 11 July, 2014 and his term will be for 1 year. The Vice-Chairman post is taken by rotation by all member states for 1 year.
The nomination is interesting coming in the middle of visible bias of the centre in favor of AP ruled by ally TDP in all it’s issues against neighboring Telangana. CMs of states AP & Telangana are not on talking terms.
Zonal councils are regional groupings of states in India and they co-operate and co-ordinate among themselves on variety of issues and the Chairman acts as the bridge between the States and the Centre. The southern zonal council was working together on issues like central allocation of funds, infrastructure projects, coastal erosion, fisheries, police administration and human trafficking etc.
The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956, when during the course of debate on the report of the States Re-organisation Commission, he suggested that the States proposed to be reorganised may be grouped into four or five zones having an Advisory Council ‘to develop the habit of cooperative working” among these States.
There are 5 Zonal Councils – The Northern Zonal Council, The Central Zonal Council, The Eastern Zonal Council, The Western Zonal Council, The Southern Zonal Council.
Each Zonal Council has set up a Standing Committee consisting of Chief Secretaries of the member States of their respective Zonal Councils. These Standing Committees meet from time to time to resolve the issues or to do necessary ground work for further meetings of the Zonal Councils. Rajiv Sharma,
Chief Secretary of Telangana is nominated Secretary of the council.