In rare speech, Sonia accuses NDA of apathy towards Andhra

  • Agencies, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 17, 2015 21:09 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday made a rare speech in parliament, accusing the Narendra Modi government of "apathy" towards the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Promises made to the people of Andhra Pradesh have not been fulfilled and the state was suffering from revenue deficit, she said initiating a discussion on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, in the Lok Sabha.

"We had provided for a comprehensive package for Andhra Pradesh in the act itself. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had committed on the floor of the Rajya Sabha that the successor state will be granted special category status," Gandhi said.

"It is disappointing that the Modi-NDA government has not shown any inclination towards fulfilling these," the Congress president said.

"The people of Andhra Pradesh are deeply anguished over the apathy being shown to them by this government. I have written to the prime minister twice in June and February this year, requesting him to speed up the implementation of the commitment we collectively made to the people of Andhra Pradesh, when parliament reapproved the bill in 2014," she said.

Modi, who was present in the house, listened to the Congress chief intently.

She said the 14th Finance Commission has also not done full justice to the state, which is the successor state of the undivided Andhra Pradesh following formation of Telangana.

Gandhi said the Polavaram irrigation project, which was crucial for the future of Andhra Pradesh, has also not been implemented.

"It has been declared a national project. It must take off immediately. After all, it is a government of India project," she said.

She said Andhra Pradesh should have its own grand capital but "nothing substantial" has been provided.

"For this too, we had committed financial resources from the centre. But sadly here too, nothing substantial has happened."

The Congress president said many other commitments like the sanction to the steel factory in Kadappa district have not been fulfilled.

"People of Andhra Pradesh are deeply anguished by apathy shown by this government... They are feeling that they have been taken for granted," she said.

"There has been no action by the NDA government to the UPA regime's commitment to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh," she added.

Responding to her statement, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said: "There is no question of going back on the commitments made. Let me assure you."

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