VIJAYAWADA: CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna on Monday sought to know what was holding back the NDA government at the Centre from introducing a bill in Parliament for according special category status for the truncated state of Andhra Pradesh.
Speaking to mediapersons here, the CPI leader said that the NDA is dragging its feet even though the Congress has come forward to back the bill if it is introduced in Parliament. “In the Lok Sabha, the BJP has majority, in the Upper House, the Congress said it will support the NDA if it introduces the bill. Then what is the objection?” Ramarkrishna asked.
He said it was unfair for Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu to say that special category status provision was not in the reorganisation Act. “In fact it was the BJP which had supported the UPA while it was passing the reorganisation Act. After the then prime minister Manmohan Singh made an announcement that special category status would be given to AP for a period of five years, Venkaiah Naidu had declared it as his achievement. Now the same Venkaiah Naidu is now in power,” Ramakrishna said, adding Manmohan Singh who is still a Rajya Sabha member expressed his desire that the bill be passed and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for special category status. He said another area of concern was allocation of mere `100 crore for the Polavaram project in the Union budget which showed how much commitment the NDA had for the national project. “At the rate of allocation of `100 crore annually with 10 per cent escalation, the project would not be over even after 1,000 years,” Ramakrishna said.
He held Chandrababu Naidu equally responsible for the plight of Andhra Pradesh. The governor’s address to the AP legislature had touched on these aspects and yet it projected Andhra Pradesh as becoming one of the best performing states by 2018. This alone proves that the state government too had no commitment for either the Polavaram project nor special category status. There was no response to the CPI’s appeal that Naidu lead an all-party delegation to the Centre, which is a pointer to the fact that Naidu was not serious about forcing the Centre into redeeming its promises made to AP, he said.
The CPI would organise protests in front of Central government offices across the state on March 11 to force the government to fulfil all promises made to the people in the reorganisation act including special category status, Ramakrishna said.