TDP MP CM Ramesh in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday he would be “constrained to undertake an indefinite fast” if immediate steps are not taken to establish a steel plant in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district. Ramesh wrote the letter five days after the Centre, citing a Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) feasibility report, told the Supreme Court that it was not “financially viable” to construct a steel plant at Kadapa.
“The Government of India filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that the project is not economically viable. It appears that the said statement was based on the initial SAIL report. This news has aroused emotions of the people of Andhra Pradesh in general and those from Kadapa district in particular,” the letter read.
It is the Centre’s “statutory responsibility to fulfill the assurance as stated in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (APR) Act”, the TDP MP wrote in the letter. He said the Centre should take early action for the establishment of an integrated steel plant in Kadapa district at the earliest or “I will be constrained to undertake an indefinite fast”.
Ramesh had earlier said he would go on a fast-unto-death in Kadapa district from June 24. TDP MP Jay Galla had last week accused the central government of misleading the people of Andhra Pradesh on the issue.
He had said the BJP had been making contradictory statements at the Centre and in the state regarding the plant.
“SAIL was asked to examine the feasibility of setting up a steel plant in Kadapa district according to the APR Act. In December 2014, it submitted that it’s not feasible. Later, when the TDP resisted and demanded that the Centre fulfill the promise made in the Act, it constituted a task force on December 7, 2016, to relook into the issue.
“The Centre, citing the old 2014 SAIL report, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, stating that a steel plant in Kadapa is not feasible. If it is genuinely interested in setting up the plant, it should have waited for the task force report,” he had said.
Galla had said the TDP would confront the Modi government on the issue in the upcoming Parliament session.
The proposed steel plant is emerging as another point of contention between the Centre and the TDP, which had in March pulled out of the NDA government over its refusal to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh. The party has been accusing the Modi government of not releasing enough funds for the Polavaram irrigation project and Amravati, the under-construction ultra-modern state capital.