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Why pay central taxes, asks Chandrababu Naidu, as TDP calls Modi govt ‘dictatorial’

Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the BJP was trying to prevent Andhra Pradesh from building its own capital even as TDP adopted a resolution at its Mahanadu conclave that vowed to unite regional parties

india Updated: May 29, 2018 19:27 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Chandrababu Naidu,Amaravati,Central government
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu being felicitated by leaders of the Telugu Desam Party during the 'Mini Mahandu' in Hyderabad on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday wondered why the state should pay taxes to a central government that was “unwilling” to release funds for its development, particularly the new capital.

“The Centre has not been releasing funds for Amaravati because it does not want a world-class capital city to come up in Andhra Pradesh. Then why should we pay taxes to the Centre at all?” Naidu, also the president of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), posed in his concluding remarks at the third day of the Mahanadu – the party’s annual conclave – in Vijayawada.

The TDP adopted a political resolution that lambasted the Modi government for its “dictatorial” attitude towards states and vowed to unite regional parties to take on the BJP government in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The resolution read: “The Centre (is) weakening the financial condition of states... The unilateral style of functioning of the Modi government has led to loss of trust of states in the central government. The states feel that the concept of federalism is only on paper.”

The “dictatorial” attitude of the Narendra Modi government, its “unilateral and anti-people decisions, misuse of central intelligence agencies and regulatory agencies to suppress the political opponents have become a matter of grave concern in the Indian polity”, it read.

Earlier, Naidu said that Amaravati would fetch a lot of revenue for the Centre in the form of income tax, corporate tax and GST once it was developed into a modern city. “But the Centre is still not forthcoming in helping us build the capital city. Why? Doesn’t Andhra Pradesh need a capital city like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru?” he asked.

Naidu gave a brief powerpoint presentation to explain how the ruling BJP was “discriminating against Andhra Pradesh” while spending Rs 95,000 crore to build the Dholera smart city in Gujarat.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi says Dholera will be four times bigger than Delhi and seven times more advanced than Shanghai. When his home state can have a second capital, why is he creating hurdles in constructing a capital city for Andhra Pradesh?” he wondered.

The chief minister also rubbished the Opposition’s criticism that his government was spending all the money at its disposal on Amaravati at the cost of other developmental works. “We have not spent a single rupee on acquiring 34,000 acres of land from farmers for the capital city. In lieu of their lands, we have given them plots. We are monetising the land to generate funds for the creation of infrastructural facilities such as roads, drainage, electricity, drinking water and residential buildings. In the coming years, Amaravati will become a self-sustaining venture, and we will have thousands of crores of rupees to spend on other parts of the state,” he said.

Naidu maintained that Amaravati would be home to 35 lakh people with access to world-class facilities. “Unfortunately, the opposition parties have neither the vision nor the foresight for a project like this. YSR Congress party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy says he will return the land acquired from the farmers. What will happen to the capital city if the land is given away?” he asked.

Many farmers who had given up their land for the capital city also spoke at the event. They said they had done so voluntarily in the hope that the state will one day have the best capital city in the world.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: May 29, 2018 17:26 IST