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Union minister refutes Chandrababu’s claims that Centre withdrew funds for Andhra Pradesh

Minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said the PMO never directed reversal of central funds granted for backward districts development in AP. He was referring to CM Chandrababu Naidu’s claims that the grant was ‘taken back’ by the Centre after crediting it in the state’s account.

india Updated: May 30, 2018 19:39 IST
Press Trust of India, Amaravati
Jitendra Singh,Prime Minister’s Office,Andhra Pradesh
Minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh condemned TDP president Chandrababu Naidu’s criticism of BJP chief Amit Shah over submission of utilisation certificates for central grants.(PTI)

Minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh on Wednesday made light of Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s claims on central assistance to the state, remarking that all what he said was “not the gospel truth”.

“The Prime Minister’s Office never intervened nor directed reversal of central funds (of Rs 350 crore) granted for backward districts development. Is there anything in writing to prove this? What all the CM says is not the gospel truth,” the MoS said.

He was referring to Naidu’s repeated claims that the backward districts development grant was ‘taken back’ by the Centre after crediting it in the state’s account.

The MoS interacted with mediapersons in Amaravati on Wednesday afternoon as part of his visit to highlight the achievements of the Narendra Modi government in the last four years.

He also condemned the TDP president’s criticism of BJP chief Amit Shah over submission of utilisation certificates (for central grants).

“As the head of a political party, can’t he (Shah) make a political statement?” Singh asked, adding that “domestic (political) compulsions led to TDP’s exit from NDA”.

“For three years and nine months, they were very comfortable (with the Centre), but suddenly there seemed to be a new enlightenment. The TDP wanted to walkout only because of political factors. The BJP never prompted it,” he said, adding that Andhra Pradesh is still on the Centre’s priority.

He said the Centre had never said it would not support the building of the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh.

“We were ready to go about (the process), but the TDP only preferred to go out,” he observed.

On the demand for according special category status to Andhra Pradesh, Singh said except the nomenclature, the Centre was ready to extend all benefits in the form of a special economic package.

“But politically, it suited others (TDP) not to accept the special package.So they started making a row. Had there been a spirit of mutual cooperation, this situation would not have arisen. But the TDP weighed only political considerations,” he said.

First Published: May 30, 2018 19:38 IST