Governor E S L Narasimhan Saturday said the manner in which Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated left scars on the minds and hearts of Telugu-speaking people and the wounds would take a long time to heal.
Addressing the joint sitting of AP Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council in the old Assembly building that has been allotted to the residuary state of AP, Narasimhan noted the decision to divide Andhra and the haphazard manner in which it was bifurcated left both states at loggerheads over distribution of assets and liabilities.
“Issues like sharing of debt, power-sharing arrangement, distribution of assets, and allotment of cadre and employees needed to be consistent and uniform. There is a deep sense of disappointment and bitterness,” said Narasimhan, who was appointed by the UPA in December 2009 and oversaw the bifurcation process.
This was the first time that Narasimhan, who was recently appointed as the Governor of both Telangana and Andhra, spoke in the new AP Assembly.
Narasimhan also remarked that the provisions made in the AP Reorganisation Act for the development of the rest of AP left a lot to be desired, leaving Andhra at a disadvantage. “The issue of where the new capital would come up has also not been addressed, which has created avoidable uncertainty. The bifurcation, the squandering away of resources and bad governance by previous governments have badly impacted the state,’’ said Narasimhan.
The governor also said the division had left the rest of AP state with a revenue deficit of over Rs 15,000 crore. He said the new AP government would request the Centre to allocate Rs 15,000 crore in the upcoming Union Budget to bridge the deficit.
“A special development package is assured in the AP Reorganisation Act and the state will ask the Centre to approve and allocate it as soon as possible. The Centre should also speed up the process of giving special state status to AP…for 15 years,” he said.
The government will seek an additional Rs 8,000 crore to finance important projects that are under construction. It will also seek funds to set up the new capital city and clearances and funds for the Polavaram irrigation project, besides relief from repayment of Central loans.
Kiran Bedi tried to establish her credentials as a secular, pro-women candidate.