CM Naidu shows visuals from Modi’s 2014 meet to allege ‘betrayal of Andhra’
The TDP president also accused the BJP of dividing the country along communal lines, and expressed concern over the alleged atrocities being committed against minorities, Dalits and women under the Modi regime.Updated: Apr 30, 2018 22:00 IST
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of betraying the people’s trust by denying special category status to the state and not implementing the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act-2014.
Addressing a public meeting titled ‘Fight against betrayal and collusion politics’ at Tirupati, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president made an audio-visual presentation to illustrate how Modi had backtracked on promises made at the same venue that very day in 2014.
The audio-visuals displayed on giant screens installed on the sprawling Sri Venkateshwara University grounds showed Modi vowing to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh and ensure the construction of a state capital much better than Delhi, among others.
“In the presence of Lord Venkateshwara, the Prime Minister promised that he would implement all the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act in letter and spirit. Doesn’t he have a responsibility to fulfil the promises? Is it wrong to seek what he had promised us then?” Naidu asked.
The chief minister said Modi granted Rs 2,500 crore for the construction of a statue in Gujarat, but released just Rs 1,500 crore in funds towards constructing the new state capital in Amaravati – a project for which farmers had surrendered over 34,000 acres of land worth Rs 50,000 crore. “After bifurcation, we are left with no capital city. Aren’t we entitled to a capital city on the lines of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad?” he asked.
Naidu recalled how Modi had asked voters whether they wanted a “Swarna Andhra” or “Scam Andhra” at his Tirupati meeting on April 30, 2014. “But now, he is colluding with a tainted party to attack us,” he said.
Naidu said the special category status was a legitimate right of Andhra Pradesh, considering how the state was divided on the basis of this very promise made by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “However, the NDA government subsequently diluted the special category issue on the pretext of rejection by the 14th finance commission. They promised to give us a special financial package, but even gaining statutory approval for that took a very long time. Later, the package was not implemented properly,” he alleged.
Naidu wondered why the Centre could not fulfil its promise to Andhra Pradesh when it had extended the special category status to 11 other states and given them industrial incentives for 10 years. “The Centre created a lot of hurdles for even the Polavaram project, which was promised in the bifurcation act. Many other promises, such as the Chennai-Visakhapatnam corridor, Visakhapatnam railway zone, petroleum complex, Dugarajapatnam port, Kadapa steel plant and educational institutions, continue to remain on paper,” he said.
The TDP president also accused the BJP of dividing the country along communal lines. Expressing concern over the alleged atrocities being committed against minorities, Dalits and women under the Modi regime, he said: “Our fight will continue until justice is delivered. There will be no compromise on that.”
YSR Congress takes up day-long Deeksha
Meanwhile, the YSR Congress – the main opposition party in the state – observed a daylong hunger strike under the Vanchana Vyatireka Deeksha (protest against betrayal) banner at Visakhapatnam on Monday to highlight how the “BJP and TDP had joined hands” to deny special category status to the state.
MPs, MLAs, MLCs and other party leaders wore black and undertook the hunger strike extending from 7 am to 7 pm. Pointing out that his party had been fighting for special status from the start, YSR Congress MP V Vijaysai Reddy accused Modi of not fulfilling promises made to the people of Andhra Pradesh and Naidu of making multiple volte-faces on the issue.
First Published: Apr 30, 2018 22:00 IST