TDP asks Centre to spell out plans for AP with clear timelines
Amid reports of strain in ties between the BJP and the TDP, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said on Wednesday it is a problem between the two governments which is to be resolved in Parliament and not on the streets.
He also asked the Centre to spell out a plan of action for the state with clear timelines. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had earlier publicly voiced unhappiness over the recent Union budget not offering any special benefits to Andhra Pradesh.
"This is a problem between two governments (the Centre and the state). This is a problem on which we have to fight in Parliament and not on the streets," Naidu told his party MPs, legislators and senior leaders in a teleconference.
He demanded that a special discussion for two hours be taken up in Parliament to debate all issues related to the bifurcation (of AP) and review the implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
"The implementation of promises made in the Rajya Sabha by then prime minister Manmohan Singh, and the special economic package announced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (in September 2016) should also be reviewed," he said.
"The Centre should clearly spell out what it has done for the state in the last four years and what it will do now. It should announce a plan of action with clear timelines," Naidu said.
On Jaitley's statement in the Rajya Sabha over AP's revenue deficit and assistance under externally-aided projects, Naidu asked, "What is this new formula (for bridging the revenue deficit) now?" "When no formula was applied to divide the state, why a new formula now to help the distressed state?" he asked.
"It is not correct to refer only to the funding from the National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD) when we sought an assistance from Hudco and other agencies as well under employee assistance programmes (EAP)," he added.
Naidu directed the TDP MPs to continue the din in Parliament "even if you get suspended". "We have converted the problems of AP into a national agenda. The injustice done to AP has become a point of debate across the country. We now have to go ahead rationally and secure our rights," the TDP chief said.
Since it was the previous (UPA) government at the Centre that committed the mistake, the onus was now on the current (NDA) government to rectify it, he said. Notably, amid an unease in its ties with the BJP, a delegation of TDP MPs, including Union ministers Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y S Chowdary, had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday.
The leaders of the two parties said the meeting was an attempt to address the strain in ties after the TDP expressed unhappiness over the Union budget not offering any special benefits to Andhra Pradesh. Prior to it, Chowdary had played down speculation that the TDP will break its alliance with the BJP.