VISAKHAPATNAM: Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Sunday, October 17, 2021, invited the ruling YSRC in Andhra Pradesh to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre for the benefit of the State. Speaking to mediapersons, the minister, stating that Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is his friend, said the State will benefit more if the YSRC joins the NDA.
“We want to expand the NDA. I appeal to Jagan Mohan Reddy, president of YSRC, to come and join the NDA. If he joins the NDA, he will be assured of more help to Andhra Pradesh,” Athawale said.“Think about it. I will talk to (BJP president) Nadda. If Jagan Mohan Reddy is ready, definitely then I will talk to the BJP high command. That will be something positive,” Athawale told the Chief Minister.
The Union Minister was here to review the implementation of various welfare schemes. Athawale’s Republican Party of India (A) is a constituent of the BJP-led NDA. He said the YSRC always supported the (Union) government in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. “If he comes and joins the NDA, then he will be assured of more help to the State in regard to National Highways, irrigation projects, tourism and other development,” Athawale said. He said the Centre was helping the State even now. “But if he joins the NDA, there could be more help,” the minister added.
He praised the Jagan Mohan Reddy government for implementing various schemes for the welfare of the poor and weaker sections. He also recollected his association with former chief minister late YS Rajasekhara Reddy. To a query, the minister said the three-capital issue was within the jurisdiction of the State.
On the issue of privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, he said privatisation of steel plants will impact reservations for people belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. “If VSP is privatised, steps will be taken to ensure reservation,’’ he said and added that the Parliamentary Committee will make a recommendation in this regard.
He said the Congress was very much weak and it cannot get back to power in another 15 years. The Union Minister said the BJP-led by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah was ensuring good governance. The government has solved the Kashmir issue and taught a befitting lesson to Pakistan with surgical strikes, he observed.
Ramdas Athawale said people belonging to SC, ST, and BC should avail various welfare schemes being implemented by the Centre. He said through the Ambedkar Foundation Rs 2.5 lakh was being paid for inter-caste marriages. Similarly, the Centre was implementing Mudra Yojana, Awaas Yojana, Ujwal Yojana, and Jan Yojana.
Republican Party of India AP executive president B Anil Kumar and AP and Telangana party in-charge Brahmananda Reddy and others were present. The union minister also held a review meeting with the district social welfare officials on the implementation of various welfare programmes of the Centre. Social welfare joint director Ramana Murthy, revenue divisional officer K Penchala Kishore and others were present.