VIJAYAWADA: Congress Rajya Sabha member K V P Ramachandra Rao has accused Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu of taking responsibility for the construction of Polavaram Irrigation Project for his personal interests though it is a national project. In a letter to the Chief Minister on Sunday, Rao said that if it were not for personal gain, what was the need for Naidu to take over the Central project.
Ramachandra Rao said that while trying to benefit out of the Polvaram Project, Naidu was trying to accuse the Congress of creating obstacles to the early execution of the project. Ramachandra Rao said that even while releasing `1,981 crores on December 23 last year for the project, the Centre had imposed a number of conditions, which were readily agreed by Chandrababu Naidu.
One of the important conditions was that if the project is not completed by 2018, then the entire grant would become a loan and that the State would have to foot the entire bill.He wondered how could Naidu agree to these conditions if he was really bothered about the interests of the State.
Driven by personal interests, Naidu had persuaded the Centre to hand over the project to the State thought it had made it clear that it would fund the project in accordance with the estimate of 2014-15 and any cost-escalation that may have taken place thereafter was to be taken care of by the State.
Ramachandra Rao also said that it was because of Naidu’s threat to the Centre before forming a government in the State in June 2014 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi hurriedly passed an Ordinance transferring seven manuals to Andhra Pradesh which are likely to be submerged when the project comes up.
In fact, it was the UPA which had acted responsibly as issuing an Ordinance in those turbulent times before the bifurcation of the State was not possible. The UPA, on the advice of the legal counsels, had decided to introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament. Ramachandra Rao dismissed as motivated the argument that the Congress was coming in the way of the execution of the project.
The Congress leader said that when Naidu, before he was sworn in as Chief Minister, visited New Delhi, former Congress minister Jairam Ramesh had joined his delegation and raised his voice with the Centre, for fulfilling the promises, including the Polavaram project, in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.