VISAKHAPATNAM: The issues pertaining to the backwardness of North Andhra region and the unfulfilled promise of the Centre to accord special category status were back to the fore again, with the leaders from the Congress, Left Parties, Loka Satta and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena championing the cause yet again.
Blaming the decades-long negligence of successive governments for lack of development in the region, the leaders irrespective of their political affiliations came together to a common platform under the banner of ‘Uttarandhra Charcha Vedika’ during an all-party round-table organised at the AU Platinum Jubilee meeting hall in Vizag on Sunday.
Presided by former minister Konathala Ramakrishna, the leaders had a brainstorming session during a seminar on ‘North Andhra Backwardness and Peoples’ Expectations’. The programme was attended by APCC president N Raghuveera Reddy, Lok Satta founder Jaya Prakash Narayan, CPI state Secretary Ramakrishna, CPM state leader P Madhu, former AU V-C KV Ramana, retired state irrigation chief engineer Satyanarayana and others.
Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan expressed his inability to attend the meeting owing to his busy schedules but extended his support to this meeting through his party representative Durga Prasad.
“The north Andhra region remains backward, thanks to the negligent attitude of the successive governments. The opposition leaders too in all these years have failed to bring pressure on the respective governments and the people of North Andhra region are paying the price for it,” said Konathala, exhorting the leaders to work in unison to ensure that the backward region gets a fair deal on every front.
Irrespective of political affiliations, all leaders must come to one dais to demand the comprehensive development of North Andhra region, he said, adding that under the banner of ‘Uttarandhra Charcha Vedika’, they will organise seminars, interactive sessions and public meetings periodically, apart from making regular field visits to know the ground reality.
Many issues like special development package for the region, sanctioning of special railway zone, sufficient drinking and irrigation water supply, setting up of an AIMS, permanent remedy for the victims of chronic kidney diseases in Uddanam, action plan on drought issues and employment for local youth and etc were discussed at length. “The north Andhra region is reeling under the drinking and irrigation water woes. Knowing that the proposed Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanthi project holds the key, the successive governments never paid a heed,” alleged Konathala.
The Vedika will conduct extensive field tours and organise meetings, discussions, debates and public interaction to create awareness among the public, he said.
Echoing the same view, Raghuveera Reddy flayed the governments for doing nothing for the North Andhra. The Left Party leaders demanded that an exclusive action plan should be drawn for the development of North Andhra.
“North Andhra is lagging behind due to the lethargy of the government. Even the promises made during the state bifurcation are yet to be fulfilled. In fact, none bothers about this region,” CPI leader Ramakrisha alleged. “Be it allocation of water, funds or employment, a big injustice has been meted out to this region. So, all political parties should come forward to fight for the due share of the region. We are ready to fight for the cause,” CPM leader P Madhu said, adding that the TDP high command must answer these questions during its coming Mahanadu.
“It is only after Pawan Kalyan’s visit to Uddanam, the government woke up to the plights of victims of kidney diseases in Uddanam. But, its actions are confined to promises only,” he said. Jana Sena representative Durga Prasad said that all the backward areas in Andhra Pradesh can be developed only if the State is accorded Special Category Status’ (SCS).
‘Fund allocation should be made as per population’
Advocating that fund allocations should be made keeping the population statistics in view, Lok Satta chief Jayaprakash Narayan said,”Every development programme hits a roadblock, with the government being neck-deep in red-tape and corruption. In North Andhra region contributes to 19 per cent population of the state. So, the fund allocations should be made accordingly.”