Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, on Wednesday, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government of betraying the people on the Centre's promise of giving special status to the bifurcated state.
"Five crore people of Andhra Pradesh feel that the BJP government is playing with our emotions," Naidu told the media in New Delhi, weeks after the TDP pulled out of the NDA over the government's failure to give Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.
He said he waited until the last Budget before withdrawing from the NDA and breaking off ties with the BJP, which was part of the ruling coalition in Andhra Pradesh.
“When we raise our voice for our demands, you want to control, harass us you dont want to release money. Again you are blaming we are misusing money or not giving UC.”
Naidu said the government kept telling him that they were not going to give special status to the state because of the 14th Finance Commission.
"The chairman and member of the Finance Commission denied it, saying their mandate was only to accord funds to state and centre. They (the government) are blaming me, saying we are prepared to give money, but you are not ready to take it. They have given special status to 11 states in spite of the 14th Finance Commission. Then why not to Andhra Pradesh?" he asked
Countering BJP’s allegations that no utilisation certificates were submitted, Naidu said that that he submitted the certificates.
“They want to dent my credibility. This is victimisation and harassment. The PMO (Prime Minister's Office) has to answer. When we raise our voice you put the blame on us, you claim that we didn’t give UCs (utilisation certificates),” he said.
He also alleged that the government went back on its word of providing a special development fund to backward districts in the state. “There are also instances when they have taken back the money they gave us,” he said.
He said he even told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that if he could sort out the issue, "we will continue in the NDA" and it was only after that did they decided to snap ties.
He said he had his alliance with the BJP was because the state needed "hand-holding from the Centre".
"Had they given us special status within the first year, I would have saved Rs 3,000-5,000 crore. I want to place all this on record. I waited for four years. (But) they didn't mention any word in their Budget about Andhra they did not even show concern."
Naidu said he travelled to Delhi 29 times in the last four years, to meet the Prime Minister and his ministers.
"And after 29 visits nothing happened. They did a few minor things, but a major part of (Andhra Pradesh) bifurcation act was not implemented."
Naidu also answered questions pertaining to the allocation of funds and the Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission.
“Performing states should not be penalised in the name of population. There needs to be a balance. Otherwise, over time, all states will become non-performing states. There are some historical reasons like north-eastern states, hilly region, all these things that you have to protect but some states are having excellent resources, they have to move forward and develop," he said.
Towards the end, Naidu also asked for a Joint Parliamentary Committee. “I ask the present government why can't we have a review? Appoint a joint parliamentary committee to assess the commitments made and actual delivery,” he said.
With inputs from IANS