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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Out of patience, ready for any sacrifice for Andhra’s interest: Naidu

Chandrababu Naidu’s comments come roughly a week after the Bharatiya Janata Party presented a 27-page note detailing measures and assistance given by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2018 23:47 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hyderabad, Hindustan Times
File photo of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
File photo of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said on Saturday that he was running out of patience with the Centre and that he was ready for any sacrifice to protect the state’s interest.

Speaking at a meeting in Narsaraopet of Guntur district, the chief minister said the Centre failed to do justice to the state despite repeated requests.

“I cannot keep quiet for long if the Centre continues to do injustice to the state. I never compromise in my life on the interests of my state. We are ready for any sacrifice in the interest of the state,” Naidu said.

“I wish the unrest that prevailed in Assam and Punjab in the past does not arise in Andhra now, as the people are very much agitated and upset with the Centre.”

His party, the Telugu Desam Party, is a constituent of the ruling National Democratic Alliance.

His comments came roughly a week after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) presented a 27-page note detailing measures and assistance given by the Centre to the southern state.

Key among them was the promise of a special development package, alternative measures to pay the state and promises to make up its revenue deficit till 2020. A Union finance ministry official had also confirmed that discussions were underway on new demands made by Andhra Pradesh.

But on Saturday, Naidu indicated that might not be enough. Stating that his party joined the NDA government only for rebuilding Andhra Pradesh after the creation of Telangana, the chief minister said he visited New Delhi 29 times and met everybody at the Centre seeking assistance.

“But still, the state did not get what it was rightful due. Even in the latest budget, which is the last full-fledged budget of the NDA government, justice was not done to Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

BJP state unit president and Visakhapatnam MP Kambhapati Hari Babu said he would not like to comment on the political strategies of the TDP.

“Maybe they want to gain political mileage by telling the people that the BJP had done nothing for the state,” he said. He reiterated the party’s claim that the Centre had extended much more assistance to Andhra Pradesh than ever before.

“We have fulfilled all the promises made in the Act, except three – Dugarajapatnam port, Vizag railway zone and Kadapa steel plant. The Centre is seriously looking into these issues and come out with a solution soon,” he added

In his speech earlier in the day, Naidu demanded the Centre fulfil all promises made in the 2014 Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act and also assurances given by former prime minister Manmohan Singh at the time of bifurcation.

“The Centre should handhold Andhra Pradesh until it is developed on par with other south Indian states in terms of per-capita income.”

Naidu said he was ready for debate on how much the state had got from the Centre vis-à-vis other states. He also took exception to the demand of some BJP leaders that the state should furnish accounts on the utilisation of funds released by the Centre so far.

“Like the Centre, the states too have their own autonomy and sovereignty. The state is answerable to the assembly and the Centre to the Parliament. In my opinion, the Centre has no right to ask the state to show accounts for the funds released by the Centre for various schemes,” he said.

First Published: Feb 17, 2018 22:23 IST

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