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Andhra BJP accuses governor Narasimhan of bias towards Telangana

The state BJP has demanded that the Centre appoint a separate governor for Andhra Pradesh before the budget session.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2018 18:59 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh,ESL Narasimhan,Telangana
ESL Narasimhan is the longest-serving governor in India.(HT Photo)

The BJP, an ally of the ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh, has accused Andhra Pradesh-Telangana governor ESL Narasimhan of being biased towards the neighbouring state.

Penmetsa Vishnu Kumar Raju, BJP floor leader in the state assembly, claimed that Narasimhan has hardly ever left the Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad to visit Andhra Pradesh in recent times. The only exceptions, he said, were unavoidable official functions and a day or two during the assembly budget session.

“Narasimhan has hardly stayed here for more than 10 days in the three-and-a-half years that followed the bifurcation of combined Andhra Pradesh. He only entertains Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, accepting his recommendations within minutes. Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is largely ignored,” Raju told mediapersons in Visakhapatnam.

He demanded that the Centre appoint a separate governor for Andhra Pradesh before the budget session. “Why should we have a governor who is biased towards Telangana? Can’t we get our own governor?” he asked.

Narasimhan has been the longest-serving governor of any state in India. He took over combined Andhra Pradesh in December 2009, at a time when the Telangana statehood movement was at its peak, and has been in the post ever since.

The immediate reason for the BJP leader’s outburst was the rejection of a bill aimed at amending the Andhra Pradesh Non-Agricultural Lands Assessment Act-1963 to reduce the fee for converting agricultural plots into non-agricultural land for industrial and infrastructural purposes. The bill, passed by the Andhra Pradesh assembly last month, was initially rejected by Narasimhan on several counts. However, he approved the legislation on Thursday, after repeated clarifications from the Naidu government.

The BJP leader wondered why the governor rejected the bill passed by Andhra assembly when he had consented to a similar bill from the neighbouring state.

BJP leaders in Telangana have also accused Narasimhan of cozying up to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), and ignoring Opposition parties. “He paid little attention to the representations made by Opposition parties against chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his TRS government,” one of them said.

Congress leaders in Telangana also want Narasimhan replaced by an “impartial” governor. “Our main demand is Narasimhan’s ouster. We are open to having separate governors for both states,” said Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) spokesperson Dasoju Sravan.

A team of Congress leaders led by TPCC chief Captain N Uttam Kumar Reddy had entered into a confrontation with Narasimhan a few days ago, when they approached him for action against sand mafia members who alleged killed a village revenue assistant in Kamareddy district. The Congress claimed that the sand mafia enjoys the backing of TRS leaders close to Rao’s family.

Narasimhan claimed that the person had died in an accident, and chided them for dragging Rao’s family into every controversy. “He was acting like a TRS agent,” said Sravan, who was part of the delegation.

The governor had later said it was natural for differences to arise within any family. “We (the governor and all political parties) are like one family,” he added.

First Published: Jan 11, 2018 18:59 IST