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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Who is Amit Shah to ask for accounts on central funds, says Chandrababu Naidu

N Chandrababu Naidu’s comments comes a day after BJP chief Amit Shah accused the Andhra chief minister of not submitting any utilisation certificates for the funds released by the Centre.

india Updated: May 28, 2018 17:30 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Vijayawada
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu being felicitated by the leaders of Telugu Desam Party during 'Mini Mahandu', in Hyderabad, on Thursday.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu being felicitated by the leaders of Telugu Desam Party during 'Mini Mahandu', in Hyderabad, on Thursday. (PTI File Photo)

Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah had no locus standi to ask for utilisation certificates for the funds released by the Centre for construction of state capital Amaravati.

Naidu was reacting to Shah’s comments at his media interaction in New Delhi that the Andhra Pradesh had not laid a single brick for the construction of Amaravati though the Centre had released Rs 2,500 crore. Shah had also accused Naidu of not submitting any utilisation certificates for the central funds released so far for various projects like Amaravati. He also said the state had not even finalised the master plan which was still in the files of a Singapore consortium.

On Monday, Naidu ticked off Shah.

“First of all, who is Shah to talk about utilisation certificates? It is between the state and central government. Let Prime Minister Narendra Modi or his office say that we had not submitted the accounts,” he said.

It was for the second successive day that Naidu took on the TDP’s former ally BJP after declaring on Sunday that the ruling party at the Centre won’t return to power 2019.

Addressing a huge gathering of party workers at the party’s annual conclave Mahanadu on the second day, Naidu said Shah was just a party president and an MP and had no right to question the Andhra Pradesh government on the spending of central funds.

The chief minister also took strong exception to the BJP president’s comment that the utilisation certificates submitted by the state were not genuine but only self-certified documents. “This is atrocious. He has no business to certify on authenticity of the utilisation certificates. Niti Ayog clearly endorsed all our certificates. How can Shah interfere in the administrative matters?” he asked.

He said that Centre-state relations were clearly defined by the Sarkaria Commission. The Centre cannot stop release of funds to a state on flimsy grounds.

Naidu also ticked off Shah for alleging that the state government had not even called for tenders for the construction of Amaravati. The chief minister said tenders for various works worth over Rs 24,000 crore, including roads and construction of various buildings to the extent of 45 lakh square feet had already been finalised and works were on full swing. The master plan for the capital was finalised long ago, he said.

“We have acquired 34,000 acres of land worth Rs 50,000 crore from farmers under land pooling system for the capital. But the Centre had released only Rs 1500 crore for the capital works, besides another Rs 1,000 crore for drainage works in Vijayawada and Guntur. We have already submitted utilisation certificates for the funds released,” the chief minister explained.

On Shah’s statement that the Centre had not shown any special favour to Gujarat and that all projects like development of Dholera smart city were being taken up only with state funds, Naidu demanded that the Centre come out with a white paper in this regard.

The chief minister alleged that the BJP was conspiring with the YSR Congress party to malign the TDP government. He called upon the party workers to counter every allegation levelled by the BJP.

“In spite of all its conspiratorial politics, the BJP will not get a single seat in Andhra Pradesh,” Naidu asserted.

Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh are due next year around the same time as the general elections.

Naidu pulled the TDP out of the NDA in March after the Central government refused to confer a special category status to Andhra Pradesh which the BJP had promised during the 2014 election campaign.

First Published: May 28, 2018 17:21 IST