VIJAYAWADA: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday once again sought to placate the protesting TDP MPs, assuring an ‘extremely early’ solution to the ‘only two pending issues’ — bridging revenue deficit and amount to be disbursed through externally-aided projects (EAPs) to the State under the special package announced for the State. But his statement, the TDP MPs and party chief and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu felt, was far from reassuring and decided to continue protests until justice was done to the State.Jaitley made the statement in the Rajya Sabha during his reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.
What irked the MPs was his assertion that many of the aspects in the special package had been implemented including funding for a number of institutions. On EAPs, he said an arrangements was being worked out in the wake of Naidu’s request that the funding be given through the NABARD. As far as revenue deficit was concerned, he said talks were on with the State government to narrow the gap between the expectations of the State and the Centre’s assessment. He promised a solution in a couple of days on the twin issues.
Following his statement, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and TD Parliamentary Party leader YS Chowdary had a spat with him in the lobby. Jaitley reportedly reiterated the same thing and asked Chowdary to get a note from BJP chief Amit Shah if they wanted anything more.
Extremely disappointed by his remarks, the TDP MPs conveyed the same to Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who was in Dubai, through video conference. Sources said the Chief Minister wondered whether the Modi government was under the impression that Andhra wasn’t a part of the country. “It appears that they are doing this deliberately...
The Centre is behaving as if it is not bothered about the State’s interests. We will continue our protests,” he was quoted as telling the MPs. YS Chowdary reportedly expressed his willingness to resign from the council of ministers.Earlier in the Rajya Sabha, Chowdary had raised the issue of pending projects promised under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act like Polavaram, steel plant at Kadapa district and a separate railway zone in Visakhapatnam. The TDP MPs continued protests in both Houses of Parliament during the day after a teleconference with Naidu. He advised the MPs to put pressure on the Centre.