The TDP govt will incur this cost to transport protesters in two special trains from Andhra to New Delhi where Chandrababu will lead a day-long protest.

AP govt to spend Rs 112 cr to ferry protestors over SCS demand BJP YSRCP slam NaiduImage: Facebook/Telugu Desam Party
news Protest Friday, February 08, 2019 - 19:01

A protest led by Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Monday in New Delhi will come at a cost of Rs 1.12 crore to the state exchequer. This as the TDP government intends to transport protesters in two special trains from Andhra to New Delhi.   

Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will lead a day-long protest in New Delhi on Monday demanding Special Status for the state. And to ensure that its protest is taken note of by citizens and the BJP-led Centre, the TDP government is intending to ferry participants from Andhra to New Delhi. While two trains have been specially hired for the purpose, it will be the state exchequer that will bear the cost – a whopping Rs 1.12 crore.

A Government Order dated February 6 issued by Srikant Nagulapalli, the Secretary to the Government states, "Government of Andhra Pradesh have decided to hire two (2) special trains with 20 compartments each from South Central Railways, Secunderabad, i.e., starting one (1) train from Ananthapuramu and another from Srikakulam to reach New Delhi by 10.02.2019 to transport interested political parties, organisations, NGOs associations, etc. to participate in one day Deeksha (Protest) at New Delhi on 11.02.2019 to be led by the Chief Minister.”  

Providing the breakdown of expenses, the GO states that the special train from Srikakulam will cost Rs 59.49 lakh, the train from Ananthapuramu will cost Rs 42.67 lakh while the coach deposit will cost Rs 10 lakh. It goes on to state that after careful examination, administrative sanction for the overall amount has been sanctioned.

The opposition in Andhra has come down heavily on the TDP government accusing Naidu of exploiting public money to gain political mileage. Speaking to TNM, BJP state President Kanna Lakshmi Narayana said, "How can he spend crores of public money for his political programmes? He is cheating the people with all pseudo protests."

Pointing out Naidu’s double speak, Narayana further said, "Isn't he the same CM who once questioned the people who demanded Special Category Status (SCS) asking what will we get with SCS?''

He also demanded an immediate reimbursement of the amount to the government exchequer.

YSRCP senior leader and MLA G Sreekanth Reddy has also called the hiring of special trains for Naidu’s protest as nothing but wasteful expenditure. He alleged that every Dharma Deeksha Porata that the TDP is organising to protest against the Centre is using public money.

He said, "You’re (Chandrababu) not doing this protest for bringing mileage to the state but to bring political mileage for yourself. How can he spend public money like that?”  

While the opposition was quick to point out and attack the ruling party for the 'abuse of power’ and ‘wastage of public money', the TDP government is claiming that the money is being spent for the state.

When TNM reached out to Kaluva Sreenivasulu, Minister for Information and Public Relations and Rural Housing, he lashed out at the opposition parties saying that they're making an issue even when the government is fighting for the state’s due.

He said, "The protest is being organised on behalf of the people of the state against the Centre’s injustice, they don't have anything other than to blame the TDP government.”

Andhra Pradesh CM Naidu will be holding 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' in Delhi to protest against the Central government for its failure to fulfil promises made during the bifurcation of the state, including granting of Special Category Status and Railway Zone for the state.