A day after the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP criticised Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for 'ignoring' the Rayalaseema region, the TDP chief hit back on Saturday. Chandrababu said that he was a 'son of Rayalaseema', as he hailed from Chittoor district, and added that people were aware of how hard he was working for the region.
The CM made the comments during a teleconference with TDP leaders, from his residence in Undavalli.
Highlighting examples like the upcoming Kia factory in Anantapur, Chandrababu discussed the “Rayalaseema Declaration” putting forth 16 demands, which was adopted a BJP meet earlier this week.
He also questioned the motive of the BJP, which had remained silent on the issue so far.
The Rayalaseema region comprises of four districts – Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor. The region has several drought-prone areas and witnesses farmer suicides annually.
After the state’s bifurcation in 2014 for the creation of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh has been building its upcoming capital Amaravati on the banks of the Krishna River, with its latest target being the location of the High Court building.
Even as the state is looking at Amaravati to host the temporary High Court, lawyers have been demanding that it should be established in the Rayalaseema region.
They also appealed to Naidu earlier, to not repeat his ‘mistake’ of developing a single region between Vijayawada and Guntur while ignoring the rest of the state.
However, the Chief Minister has said that the Rayalaseema region could only get a bench of the High Court, but not the entire judicial branch.
Chandrababu’s comments come in the wake of escalating tensions between the two allies in the state. TDP is a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre while the BJP is the junior ally in TDP-led government in the state.
The two parties are going through a rough patch ever since the alleged injustice meted out to the state in the Union Budget. The TDP is upset that it failed to secure a good deal despite being an ally, while the BJP has accused the TDP of mismanagement of resources that were sanctioned by the Centre.
In its declaration passed earlier this week, the BJP demanded a second capital, and the establishment of the upcoming Andhra Pradesh High Court in the region.
The party also said that Assembly sessions should be held in the Rayalaseema region, once in six months.
The BJP also demanded a special budgetary allocation of Rs 20,000 crore to complete various irrigation projects in the region.
Meanwhile, the TDP MPs have already announced that they would continue their protest when the Budget Session restarts on March 5.
Chandrababu has vowed to continue to put pressure on the Centre till it fulfils all commitments made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, and handholds the state till it comes on par with other southern states.