IN A direct attack on the Prime Minister, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu played video clips in the Assembly on Wednesday of Narendra Modi’s speeches in the state, both before and after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, in which he assured that Andhra Pradesh would be given special category status.
In the video clip of his campaign speech in Tirupati, on May 4, 2014, Modi says: “I am giving an assurance to the people of Andhra Pradesh today, that if you send me to Delhi, we will not only fulfill the promise of special category status given to Andhra, but also extend it.
In another video clip of his speech at the foundation stone laying ceremony at Amaravati on October 22, 2015, the PM says, “I am assuring you that all the assurances given in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, would be fulfilled by the government.’’
After playing the video clips, Naidu said Modi should tell the people of the state why he was not fulfilling his promises. “As the CM of this state, I am asking questions to the PM, and demand answers from him. I am asking him whether he knows that Andhra Pradesh has submitted all utilisation certificates (UCs) for the funds granted so far? BJP leaders are spreading lies that we have not submitted the UCs. Are you aware of this? I am demanding answers from you. I am asking for justice from you. The BJP is cheating the state for temporary political benefit, but this kind of strategy is harmful to the country,’’ said Naidu.
“Instead of taking up the no-confidence motion, Parliament is being adjourned every day, which is undemocratic. Instead of holding a free and fair discussion, BJP is resorting to tricks to not allow the no-confidence motion,’’ he said.
“BJP leaders have started behaving very irresponsibly. Instead of answering to the people of Andhra Pradesh, they are spreading all kinds of lies about how much funds the Centre has given. I knew the BJP would come up with such tricks, so we were careful and submitted all records, including UCs, but they are not willing to discuss that. Is the PM aware of all this? Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to directly answer to the people of Andhra Pradesh over denial of special status. He should explain this partisan attitude towards the state,’’ said Naidu.
The Chief Minister, along with his MLAs, wore black badges to the Assembly on Wednesday as part of their protest.
Naidu said the Centre had released Rs 5,365 cr for the Polavaram project, Rs 1,500 cr for Amaravati development, and Rs 946.47 cr for the seven backward districts so far. “Irrespective of whether we get more funds immediately for Polavaram or not, the state government is determined to complete the project as per schedule. If necessary, the state government will float bonds,’’ he said.
Earlier this month, the TDP, on March 8, pulled out its two ministers — P Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y S Chowdary — from the Union Council of Ministers. About a week later, the party left the NDA.