VIJAYAWADA: Venting their frustration with the Centre over its indifferent attitude towards AP’s fight for special category status (SCS), members of the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution condemning the NDA government for failing to implement provisions in the AP Reorganisation Act 2014.Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said the House strongly objected to the inordinate delay on the part of the Centre in fulfilling the promises made to the state by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the floor of Rajya Sabha ahead of the bifurcation of the state three and a half years back.
“The division of Andhra Pradesh was done in an unscientific manner, resulting in injustice to the residuary state of AP in terms of division of assets and debts, distribution of electricity, tax collection and repayment,’’ the resolution read.Naidu questioned why the Centre was denying Andhra Pradesh SCS despite the 14th Finance Commission not having disallowed it and several other states currently enjoying the status. The Finance Commission’s president and one of its members clarified they had made no such recommendation as it was not within the panel’s ambit.
The Centre has been citing the 14th Finance Commission report for its inability to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh and said states that enjoyed the status earlier no longer do so. The NDA government had earlier struck a deal with the state promising a special package that would extend the same benefits available under special status, but failed to allot funds under the scheme. “The Centre is continuing royalties and industrial incentives to SCS states,’’ Naidu read from the resolution.
“I have gone to Delhi 29 times to sensitise the Centre on the disappointment and anger of Andhras over the delay in implementation of provisions in the Reorganisation Act, but there has been no response whatsoever,” the Chief Minister said and added that the Assembly would not forget the “dismissive language” the Central government has used while addressing Andhra Pradesh’s fight for justice.
Terming Polavaram the lifeline of the state and a long-pending dream of the people, the Chief Minister observed it was unfortunate that the Centre had not transferred all the promised funds after the seven mandals that were at risk of submerging being added to AP during bifurcation. The state is yet to get over Rs 2,500 crore spent on the project.
As per the Act, the Centre should extend financial support for the construction of the capital city, carve out a railway zone, set up a steel factory, port and petrochemical unit, enhance the number of Assembly constituencies and set up several education and research institutes. Promises on balancing revenue deficit, extending special assistance to backward districts of the state on the lines of the schemes being implemented in Bundelkhand and the Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi region have also been reneged upon.
“The Central government should extend hand-holding to the state until it achieves development on a par with other states in south India. We have asked nothing more than what has already been promised to us,” the Assembly resolved in the absence of the principal opposition party YSRC and the silence of BJP members.
Naidu at his combative best
On BJP, YSRC
Despite being accused in several cases, YSRC chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Vijay Sai Reddy have met the Prime Minister. Despite the TDP being an ally of the BJP, YSRC leaders got in touch with the President even before I was informed of his
candidature. On the one hand YSRC leaders say they are confident Narendra Modi will grant state special status, on the other they insist that a no-trust motion be moved against the NDA government. BJP leaders in the House claim the party has nothing to do with YSRC. What answer do they have for the points I raised?
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who said funds could not be given on the basis of public sentiment should remember that AP was bifurcated in the name of public sentiment. I have been in politics for the last four decades. I do not need lessons from BJP leaders. As Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha during the state’s bifurcation, Jaitley had demanded SCS... now that he is the Finance Minister, he is turning a deaf ear to AP’s fully-justifiable demands
The port should have been completed by 2018 as per the AP Reorganisaiton Act, but after four years of bifurcation, the Centre wants Andhra Pradesh to decide on an alternative location citing feasibility problems. They sent a letter yesterday