VIJAYAWADA: Refusing to be drawn into a war of words with Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao for his ‘distasteful’ remarks on the Andhra Pradesh government, ministers Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, Botcha Satyanarayana, and government advisor Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy on Friday sought to show up the mirror to him, pointing out that the power situation or the condition of roads in Telangana was no better.
While addressing a conference organised by CREDAI in Hyderabad, without naming any State, KTR said, there are no roads, electricity and water in the ‘neighbouring State’. “During Sankranti, one of my friends visited his native village in a neighbouring State where he has orchards and a house. After he returned to Telangana, he requested me to arrange four buses from each village in Telangana to the neighbouring State,” the IT Minister said. He added his friend told him there was no power, water and roads in the neighbouring State.
“If we send people from Telangana to that State they will understand the importance and development of Telangana,” the IT Minister said. Responding to his comments, Minister for Energy and Forest Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, who held the Panchayat Raj portfolio till recently, asserted that there are no power cuts in Andhra and the government is ready to purchase coal at any cost. “After Jagan Mohan Reddy formed the government, roads were developed significantly, be it Panchayat, R&B or National Highways. In fact, the number of roads developed in AP is far greater than in Telangana,” he explained.
Peddireddy opined that KTR might have made the comments in view of the brewing election fever in Telangana. “But belittling a neighbouring State for political mileage is not proper,” Peddireddy stressed.
Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, who previously held Municipal Administration and Urban Development portfolio, was far more stronger in his response. “There is no power in Hyderabad, as I myself have seen. KTR might have been told about AP conditions by his friends, but I myself have experienced power cuts in Hyderabad and we had to use generators. We are not making an issue out of it. Responsible people like KTR should refrain from making such comments,” he said and invited the Telangana minister to AP to see for himself the condition of the roads. He demanded that KTR withdraw his comments.
Sources in YSRC told TNIE that there was no need to in fact react to KTR. “It is the arrogance of having Hyderabad with them. Though we don’t want to be dragged into a verbal duel with the TRS, KTR has forced us to. Besides, the TDP, too, is latching on to his comments. TRS is under pressure in Telangana, which could be the reason for KTR’s attempt to tarnish us to gain political mileage,” a close aide to the Chief Minister said. He also added that the minister was trying to divert attention from the recent controversies involving TRS leaders in Telangana.
Minister for Industries Gudivada Amarnath said if the Telangana minister visits Andhra Pradesh, more so villages, he will see the development, which was fast-tracked by village/ward secretariats, an idea of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. “Power problems are present in 16 states in the country and Andhra Pradesh is one of them. Power cuts are there in Telangana too,” he pointed out. Refusing to politicise the issue, YSRC leader and government advisor Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said post bifurcation, there are several issues pending between the two states, more so the distribution of assets.
In the first five years, there was no development and after YS Jagan Mohan Reddy took over, every effort is being made to develop the State. “When it comes to welfare, particularly in respect of handling the Covid pandemic, no one can surpass Andhra Pradesh,” he asserted. Sajjala said issues of power and bad roads exist in Telangana too.
On the other hand, TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh slammed the YSRC Government for making Andhra Pradesh a ‘laughing stock’ in the eyes of neighbouring States. He tweeted the video of KTR to buttress his allegation that the YCP regime has “destroyed” the State in the past three years.
Expressing serious concern, Lokesh said none other than KTR had now spoken openly about the ‘destructive regime’ of Jagan Mohan Reddy.
‘No need to react’ YSRC sources told TNIE there is no need to react to KTR & added we don’t want to be dragged into a verbal duel with TRS