Days after the Jana Sena Party (JSP) announced its alliance with the BJP in Andhra Pradesh, JSP chief Pawan Kalyan met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi, along with key leaders from both JSP and BJP from Andhra Pradesh. Addressing the media soon after the meeting, Pawan Kalyan said that several matters related to the financial and political situation in Andhra Pradesh were discussed in the meeting.
“We discussed the course of events in state since bifurcation. The Centre has tried to support both the governments (TDP and YSRCP), but the opinion here is that although the governments have changed, their performance has remained the same. Though funds are granted from the Centre, the state governments have failed to submit Utilisation Certificates, and have failed to act responsibly,” Pawan Kalyan said.
He also said that the issue of the state capital was discussed in the meeting. JSP has been opposed to the YSRCP government’s decision to decentralise the capital, and has been supporting the protesting farmers and landowners in Amaravati. With the bill for decentralisation being passed in the Assembly on Monday, Pawan Kalyan has assured protesters that Amaravati will still remain the sole capital of the state, stating that he had allied with the BJP on the condition that the Centre ensures that Amaravati remains the only capital.
However, BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao said on Tuesday that the subject of capital came under the state's purview and that the Centre will not intervene in the decision. On the other hand, BJP State president Kanna Lakshminarayana has said that the BJP will not allow three capitals for the state.
Speaking to reporters, Pawan Kalyan said, “YSRCP leaders have repeatedly said that the central leadership had been informed about the capital decentralisation. I am now saying this from Delhi, the central government has neither extended its consent or objection for decentralisation. The state government has the power to do this, but the central was not consulted. They (YSRCP leaders) are defaming the central government with their lies.”
He also said that the state government urgently needed a long-term governance plan.
“Amaravati is an issue that affects the 5 crore people of the state. We promise the people, and the farmers, that a strong action plan will be decided. We will make sure that Amaravati remains Andhra Pradesh’s permanent capital,” Pawan Kalyan said.
GVL Narasimha Rao, Kanna Lakshminarayana, BJP state in-charge Sunil Deodhar, JSP leader Nadendla Manohar and D Purandeswari were present in the meeting.