Cong coats move with Polavaram sweetener

Asks Centre to declare irrigation project as a national project,provide adequate funds

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 31, 2013 2:07:54 am

While conceding to the demand for formation of a separate Telangana state despite stiff opposition from a section of its Andhra leaders,the Congress Tuesday made an attempt to appease them and send a political message to the coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions by asking the government to institute a mechanism for sharing of water and other resources and provide “adequate funds” for these regions.

Resorting to symbolism in a bid to quell the anger in the rest of Andhra,the Congress Working Committee resolution asked the government to declare the Polavaram irrigation project as a national project and to provide adequate funds for its completion. The project is bone of contention between Orissa and Andhra and work on the project is more or less stalled now.

The resolution asked the government to simultaneously institute a mechanism to “address the concerns of the people of the regions of Andhra,Rayalseema on matters relating to (but not limited to) the sharing of river waters,generation and distribution of electricity,safety and security of all residents in all the three regions,and the guarantee of the fundamental rights of all residents”.

Besides,it wants the Centre to assist in building of a new capital and identify special needs of the backward regions and districts of Andhra Pradesh and provide adequate funds for the development of those areas.

Party general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh Digvijaya Singh said the problems and issues of the Seemandhra region will be addressed. “The issues of division of water,splitting of assets and liabilities,rights and security will be addressed when the Bill (for creation of Telangana) will be drafted,” he said.

The symbolism apart,the Congress admitted it was a tough decision and mindful of the possibility of rebellion asked partymen to ensure that the CWC decision is implemented in letter and spirit. Singh rejected suggestions that the decision was aimed at reaping electoral benefits,saying “political expediency cannot be a reason for such a far reaching decision”. He said it was a long-standing demand and has a historical background. “Even the first state reorganisation commission mentioned about Telagana.”

In a message to potential dissenters,he said,“The Congress party stands solidly behind the decision taken at the AICC.”

‘Awaiting merger offer from TRS’

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday said it was awaiting a word from the TRS on its merger with the Congress. “As far as KCR is concerned,he has been saying that once Telengana state is given,they will merge their party with the Congress party. We shall wait for the reaction of the TRS. We would be favourably inclined to discuss the issue,” AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh said.

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