One of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s immediate tasks is to oversee the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create India’s 29th state, Telangana. The appointed day for the formation of Telangana is June 2, but the process has run into several debates, such as how the bureaucracy will be divided between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

More than 50,000 employees of united Andhra Pradesh need to be divided between the two states. However, while the majority of the lower-level staff are from Telangana, most officers of the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Police Service and senior officers are from the Seemandhra region, which will continue to be called Andhra Pradesh.

If employees were allocated new positions depending on the region they hail from, this would result in the division being disproportionate to the requirements of the two new states.

The principle for allocating staff has been on the basis of population of the two states – so 52% will go to Andhra Pradesh and 48% to Telangana. But the chief minister-designates of the two states have been unwilling to agree on other criteria for the division.

Aggressive posturing by Telangana CM-designate K Chandrashekar Rao, who is popularly called KCR, has made the division more difficult. On Friday, Rao said “those employees who hail from the Seemandhra region will not even be allowed to enter the Telangana secretariat”.

“Such words hurt the people of Seemandhra deeply and are completely impractical for dividing the state,” said Dinesh Akula, a Hyderabad-based journalist with the TV 9 group.

KCR’s party, the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi, led an emotional movement to demand the creation of a separate state, basing their claim on the argument that people from Seemandhra were dominating the administration of Andhra Pradesh. Their main point of contention was that though the capital city of Hyderabad lay within the Telangana region, most jobs went to people with their origins in Seemandhra.

Telangana activists used inflammatory slogans during their campaign for a separate state between 2009 and 2013. “Telangana waale jaago aur Andhra waale bhaago,” said one of them. Telangana people wake up and drive out the Andhra people. Such statements heightened the insecurities of people hailing from Seemandhra who have lived in Hyderabad for generations and fuelled protests in the Seemandhra region against the division of the state.

Given that the TRS won a clear mandate in Telangana during the recent state elections, primarily because of its aggressive campaign for separation, KCR seems to be unwilling to give up the divisive and provocative statements.

“The TRS has not spoken of development or administration of a new state during its election campaign and it  is time it focused on that instead of dividing people further,” said Dr N Bhaskar Rao of the Centre for Media Studies. But KCR has shown no signs of shifting tack.

“Most government staff from the Seemandhra region are extremely worried about their future and how they will be treated,” S Nagi Reddy, an officer in the Department of Education, told

Adding to the the confusion is the fact that the new state of Telangana will retain Hyderabad as its capital, but Andhra Pradesh will have to move to a new capital in ten years. Most government employees who belong to the Seemandhra region live in Hyderabad and are worried that they and their families will be forced to relocate with to a new city.

“Statements by KCR have made it clear that we will be second-class employees if we stay on in Telangana and so we may have no other choice but to move out,” said Nagi Reddy.

There are similar concerns on the Telangana side as well. Ironically, the name of Telangana Employee Union president, C Vitthal, was included on the list of those allotted to Seemandhra. This has caused considerable heart burn. While Vitthal was unavailable for comment, his colleague G Deviprasad Rao, who is a non-gazetted officer from Telangana, told “This shows how unfair the distribution is and we will fight it out”.

It was against this backdrop that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-designate N Chandrababu Naidu met Governor ESL Narasimhan on Saturday and has asked for “division of employees and other resources to be made on basis of administrative needs and nativity of employees”. But given the line taken by his counterpart, KCR, this may be difficult to achieve.

Naidu hopes to leverage his pre-poll alliance with Modi to ensure that the division proceeds in a manner that will favor the Seemandhra region. But this may not happen because the BJP aims to build a base in Telangana, where it contested in more than 40 of the 117 seats as part of the alliance with the TDP.

“The BJP’s ultimate aim is to emerge as a force in the Telangana region and the party does not have a base in Seemandhra,” said a BJP leader who spoke to on conditions of anonymity.

In this situation, the key challenge for Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Modi will be to rise above narrow political pressures and balance the demands and sentiments of both their ally Chandrababu Naidu and the people of Telangana. They will have to divide India’s largest southern state in a manner that will maximise administrative efficiency.