Naidu meets Modi, urges PM to fulfil commitments made to Andhra
The meeting took place amid reports that relations between the TDP and its alliance partner BJP strained in the recent past.india Updated: Jan 12, 2018 18:43 IST
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday presented a long wish-list to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his intervention to fulfil all the promises made to his state under AP Reorganisation Act.
The hour-long meeting in New Delhi took place amidst reports of strained relations between the TDP and its alliance partner BJP. Especially after the recent victory of the BJP in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, the Andhra BJP leaders have adopted a belligerent stand against the TDP and announced that their party would go it alone in the next assembly elections in the state in 2019.
Naidu, who is also TDP president, had to wait for last one and a half years to get appointment of the Prime Minister despite his repeated requests.
Modi finally agreed to give audience to the Andhra CM after hectic lobbying by the TDP MPs.
The last time Naidu had a one-on-one meeting with Modi was on August 25, 2016. Though he had a meeting with the Prime Minister on January 24, 2017, it was part of an official delegation, which he had led in the capacity of the convenor of the committee on demonetisation.
“We didn’t discuss politics. I made a detailed representation of the issues concerning the state which have been pending clearance from the Centre for the last two years. At present, my entire focus is on securing maximum benefits from the Centre in the next one year, and not politics. I am confident that the Prime Minister would resolve all the issues and he gave an assurance to that effect,” Naidu told media, after the meeting.
Stating that Andhra Pradesh had suffered a lot due to unscientific bifurcation of the erstwhile combined state, the chief minister, in his 14-page memorandum to the Prime Minister, requested that the Centre release adequate funds to offset the revenue deficit in the budget, which was essentially due to lack of capital.
Out of the total estimated revenue deficit of Rs. 16,078 crore, only Rs 3,979 crore had been released so far to offset the shortfall, he pointed out.
The other demands listed in the memorandum include: Release of additional central share of Rs 16447 crores promised for five years till 2020 for Centrally Sponsored Schemes as per the special financial package in lieu of special category status; permission to clear other outstanding loans borrowed for externally aided projects; approval for the revised estimated cost of Rs 58,000 crore towards Polavaram project besides reimbursing the expenditure made so far; release of sufficient funds for expeditious construction of new capital in Amaravati; establishment of railway zone at Visakhapatnam and establishment of central university at Anantapur.
Naidu also wanted Modi to take urgent steps to increase the number of seats in the state Assembly from 175 to 225 as committed in the AP Reorganisation Act.