Naidu raised issues about the state bifurcation four years, pointing out that AP lagged behind the other southern states despite its high economic growth.

NITI Aayog meet Andhra CM demands SCS highlights neglect of state by CentreFacebook/Telugu Desam Party
news Politics Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 16:32

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu raised several important issues pertaining to his state during the NITI Aayog meeting in New Delhi on Sunday.

In a 20-minute speech, Naidu raised issues about the bifurcation of the state four years ago and also highlighted the ‘neglect’ of the state by the Centre. Pointing out that the state was unscientifically bifurcated in what he called an ‘unjust’ move, the Chief Minister claimed that the people of the state were further hurt by the subsequent neglect by the Centre.

The CM also said that the state lagged behind the other southern states despite its high economic growth with a per capita income of Rs 1.74 lakh. He demanded the Special Category Status (SCS) for the state as it was assured on the floor of the Parliament by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Naidu also accused the Centre of ‘misleading’ the Andhra people by announcing a ‘special package’ instead of SCS.

Reminding the BJP government of its electoral promise, Naidu also demanded the approval of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Polavaram irrigation project. Stating that 56% of the project had been completed, he also sought a reimbursement of Rs 1,892 crore.

Naidu further demanded funds for the upcoming capital city of Amaravati and demanded Rs 20 lakh crore in the next 20 years. While 27,000 farmers from the Amaravati region pooled their lands worth Rs 50,000 crore, the Centre has released only Rs 1,500 crore, he claimed.

Highlighting the ‘meagre’ allocation of funds to educational institutions in the state, the CM claimed that only Rs 638 crores was sanctioned against the required Rs 11,673 crore. He also raised issues such as the formation of railway zone in the state along with the Vijayawada and Vizag Metro projects, the Kadapa steel plant, and the increase of Assembly seats in the state.

The Chief Minister asked the Centre to ensure that all provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act were fulfilled.

Naidu also took issue with the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Fifteenth Finance Commission and advised against using the 2011 census instead of the 1976 one. He received the support of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee over this demand, as she asked the Centre not to penalise performing states.

Stating that he supported the principle of demonetisation, Naidu said that inadequate care was taken while implementing it. He also said that the reduction of crude oil prices globally hasn’t been passed on to the people.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar supported AP’s request for SCS, and demanded the same for his state as well.

The meeting between Naidu and Modi garnered attention as it was the first face-to-face greeting between the two leaders after the TDP pulled out of the NDA government in March this year.

Naidu has since been targeting the BJP and Modi for going back on their promise of according special status. On several occasions, Naidu alleged that the BJP was hatching a “big conspiracy” against the TDP government and advised his party leaders to be ready to face any situation.

This also came a day after four non-BJP Chief Ministers – Mamata Banerjee, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan, Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy and Chandrababu Naidu – extended their support to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s sit-in protest at the Lt Governor’s office.

Showing solidarity with Kejriwal, the four Chief Ministers on Saturday met and discussed a strategy to provide support to the AAP leader who wants IAS officers to end their non-cooperation with his government.

The four Chief Ministers visited Kejriwal’s residence and met his family.


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