news Saturday, February 28, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 28, 2015 | 11:02pm IST Hyderabad : Unhappy over the "raw deal" meted out to Andhra Pradesh in the union budget, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu Saturday decided to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek justice for his state reeling under the impact of bifurcation. Naidu, who is also president of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, told reporters here that the budget dashed hopes of people who had reposed faith in the alliance. Stating that everybody in the state is disappointed with the budget, he said it was Modi's responsibility to ensure that Andhra Pradesh gets all the support and its state capital is developed at par with Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. Unhappy over the state not being given special category status and sufficient funds in the union budget, Naidu said he would make all efforts to pursue the central government to undo the injustice done to the state by the previous Congress-led government by dividing the state. Naidu reminded Modi that during the election campaign, they gave assurances to people and made promises. "At an election meeting in Tirupati, Mr. Modi had promised that a world-class capital city would be developed which would be better than Delhi," he said. Naidu said he had been seeking Rs.1 lakh crore for developing new state capital as it may take 15-20 years for it to reach Hyderabad's level of development. The chief minister said he visited Delhi seven-eight times and met the prime minister, the finance minister and others to explain to them the problems faced by his state and the assistance required to overcome them. "I did not expect this," said Naidu, while pointing out that the budget has nothing to offer to the state. The TDP chief said division of the state was a political decision and hence the creation of level-playing field has to be a political decision. He, however, said this would have no impact on his "friendship" with the BJP-led government. Asked if he would withdraw support to the government, he retorted: "I am not going to play petty politics." Naidu said the state's division was done in "unjust" manner. The successor state of Andhra Pradesh ended up with 11 percent revenue loss in proportion to its population. Stating that the state suffered loss of Rs.61,000 crore due to Hudhud cyclone last year, aggravating the situation, he urged the central government to extend every help to the state both in terms of policy decisions and provision of funds. Referring to meagre allocation of Rs.100 crore in the budget for Polavaram project, he wondered how long it would take to complete the project. Naidu said no decision was taken on making Visakhapatnam a separate railway zone as committed in the Reorganisation Act. Earlier, TDP parliamentarians and Andhra Pradesh cabinet ministers said injustice was done to the state as there was no clarity with regard to the special status promised in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. MP G. Jayadev said in New Delhi that they were "very disappointed". He said though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said all legal commitments made at the time of reorganisation would be complied with, there was no clarity in the budget. He said it was a year since the Reorganisation Act was passed but nothing had been done to fulfill the commitment made therein. Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary said Jaitley told parliament that Bihar and West Bengal would be provided special assistance as was provided to Andhra Pradesh but there was no clarity. TDP had joined NDA before last year's elections. It has 15 members in Lok Sabha. IANS
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