AN OPEN LETTER TO PEOPLE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
DESPERATE HISTRIONICS BY TDP LEADER TO MISLEAD PEOPLE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
My Dear People of Andhra Pradesh,
The Telugu Desam leader and AP Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu is back to theatrics and histrionics. His desperation for grabbing headlines is understandable as he is aware that his political fortunes are declining rapidly.
Shri Naidu knows that he has lost complete credibility among the people of Andhra Pradesh and as a result is announcing a series of sops to woo different sections. Sensing defeat in the coming elections, he has made multiple U-turns and is carrying on a malicious propaganda against the Centre and BJP leadership to divert people’s attention from his failures. He is going too far by personally attacking Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and even did not have the courtesy to receive the Hon’ble Prime Minister when he came to the state.
However, the enlightened and politically conscious people will see through his desperation to retain power. They will teach a befitting lesson to him in the coming elections for having joined hands with the Congress, which has bifurcated the state in a unilateral, hasty and unscientific manner, ignoring the interests of the state. People will always remember that Congress had dethroned former Chief Minister, Shri N T Rama Rao in a most undemocratic manner in 1984.
In his lust for power, the TDP leader has destroyed the very anti-Congress foundation on which the party was built by its founder, Shri N T Rama Rao. Congress betrayed the people of Andhra Pradesh while dividing the state and now TDP leader wants to work for bringing back Congress to power. His actions smack of political opportunism.
He hailed the special package announced by the NDA government on the floor of the Assembly, in party meetings, public forums and press conferences, and even declared that Special Category Status was not a panacea and did not help states with such status to develop. At that time other parties demanded Special Category Status, he called them names arrested many people agitating for such status. However, he made a complete U-turn and is today raising this issue himself. Unnerved by the prospect of TDP facing an uncertain electoral future, he is resorting to cheap gimmicks, distorting facts and misleading the people of Andhra Pradesh by making patently false accusations against the BJP-led NDA government and Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.
It should be noted that Congress never bothered about the aspirations of the people of Telangana, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh state.
Had there been even an iota of sincerity towards the people of Andhra Pradesh, UPA would have included the provision of ‘Special Category Status’ in AP Reorganization Act. Similarly, why did it not facilitate speedier implementation of Polavaram project by transferring the seven mandals located in Khammam district to Andhra Pradesh? Why did it not promulgate an ordinance in this regard? Let Shri Naidu and the Congress answer the above questions before accusing anybody. Till then, they have no moral right to criticize the Central Government.
Unlike UPA, the Modi Government in its very first cabinet meeting in May 2014 had approved an ordinance for transfer of in 222 villages in seven mandals in two districts to pave way for the execution of the Polavaram project. Shri Naidu falsely, as is his typical habit, falsely claims credit for what the Central Government has done solely on its own initiative. Also the Polavaram Ordinance Bill was passed in the first Parliament session after NDA assumed power. Not only that, Polavaram was declared as a national project and the execution of the project was handed over to AP Government at the request of Shri Chandrababu Naidu, which was unprecedented. These actions spoke more loudly than words about the sincerity of NDA government towards people of Andhra Pradesh.
As committed in the Act, Polavaram irrigation project has been declared as National Project. Further, it has been decided to provide 100% of the remaining cost of Irrigation Component of the project for the period starting from 1.4.2014, to the extent of the Cost of Irrigation Component on that date and till date Rs. 6,764.70 crores has been released.
Shri Naidu is probably under an illusion that people will believe whatever he alleges with regard to the fulfilment of the provisions contained in the AP Reorganization Act. In fact, the Modi Government has not only implemented most of the assurances in a record time, but also walked an extra mile to fast-track the progress of Andhra Pradesh. It has accorded highest priority to handholding Andhra Pradesh.
As his wont, Shri Naidu indulged in political skulduggery, back-stabbed his allies and violated the principles of coalition dharma. Ever since he had snapped ties with NDA for his own political survival, he has been letting loose a deluge of disinformation against the NDA government. In a bid to cover up his own failures and inability to implement the populist promises made by him to the people, he has been blaming the Centre without any rhyme or reason. It is pertinent to mention here that at a meeting of the NDA in 2017, Shri Naidu himself took the lead and moved the resolution that the coalition should fight the next elections in 2019 under the leadership of Shri Modi by highlighting the development agenda of the NDA.
We are aware that Shri Chandrababu Naidu has Congress blood in him. But we never expected that he will go to the extent of even surpassing the Congress in speaking lies and untruths and in carrying a hate campaign against the Central Government, the Prime Minister and the BJP.
We were particularly shocked at the manner in which he started spreading canards to justify his U-turn after having realized that he was bound to lose the upcoming elections as he had failed to keep up promises.
What is even more shocking is the manner in which Shri Naidu is twisting facts about assistance provided by the Centre to the Andhra Pradesh government. On many occasions, he had endorsed the special package announced by the Centre in lieu of special category status.
I would like to recall that Shri Naidu that had hailed the special package on the floor of the assembly on Mar 16, 2017 and said that every benefit that would have come under SCS to the state, would accrue through the special economic package.
In fact, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly had passed a resolution thanking the Central Government for approving a special economic package for the state.
At that time, Shri Naidu had also called a meeting of senior leaders of his party and hailed the benefits of the special package and categorically stated that special category status was not a panacea. He reiterated the same in the Assembly also.
In fact, he had declared that special package was better than special status and also ridiculed his political opponents by asking what was the present status of the states which were given special status for the past many years and why did they not develop?
The TDP leader also dismissed the claims of other parties that special category status would entail special tax incentives to the state and went to the extent of challenging them to prove their claim.
Now with the support of a section of willing media, he has been indulging in false propaganda at all forums and virtually made the TDP subservient to the Congress. Let me also remind all Telugu people of Andhra Pradesh that in the past Shri Naidu had lambasted the Congress President, Shri Rahul Gandhi for visiting Andhra Pradesh and questioned the purpose of his visit.
Apparently, panic has set in now and the TDP leader is scared that his omissions and commissions would be exposed. That’s why, he is going to the extent of accepting the leadership of the Congress Party which has ruled and ruined the country, compromised the integrity of every institution and is neck-deep in scams and scandals.
The TDP leader joined hands with a party which had imposed Emergency and had dismissed his father-in-law—the popularly elected Telugu Desam founder and former Chief Minister, Shri N T Rama Rao in 1984.
I appeal to the enlightened Telugu people to see the evil designs of the Telugu Desam leadership which is burying the basic principles on which Telugu Desam was founded.
Although the AP Reorganization Act provided a window period of 10 years for implementing various provisions, the NDA government not only speedily sanctioned a record number of educational, developmental and other infrastructure-related projects, but also released funds for executing them. Never in the history of independent India have so many projects been sanctioned in such short span of time to a single state by the Centre. This fact in itself speaks volumes about the commitment and sincerity of the NDA government towards developing Andhra Pradesh.
As per Section 93 of AP Reorganization Act, the Central Government is committed to all necessary measures as enumerated in the 13th Schedule for the progress and sustainable development of successor states within a period of 10 years.
Of the 11 new educational institutions under the Act’s 13th Schedule (Section 93), as many as ten institutions have started functioning much ahead of the stipulated schedule. A Tribal University is also coming up. The teninstitutions are IIT, NIT, IIM, IISER, IIIT, AIIMS, Central University, Petroleum University, Agricultural University, and National Institute of Disaster Management NIDM
As regards eight infrastructure projects, Government of India had to “examine” the “feasibility” of six projects within six months from the appointed date and initiate action on two others within 10 years. Following feasibility studies, action has been initiated on five projects.Despite non viability of the three other projects the government of India is exploring other alternatives.
A greenfield petrochemical complex is proposed to be established at Kakinada by HPCL-GAIL. The Central Public Sector Enterprises have proposed to invest more than a lakh crore in Andhra Pradesh. These includeGreenfield petrochemical complex at an estimated cost of Rs. 39,145 crore. GAIL and HPCL have already signed an MoU with AP Government in this regard.
The Government has decided to expeditiously take up the Vizag-Chennai industrial corridor. In the very first phase, 800-kilometer long Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) segment of East Coast Economic Corridor was taken up. ADB approved US $ 631 million (loans and grants) for VCIC and released US $ 370 million as the first tranche. Krishnapatnam-Chennai-Bengaluru growth corridor was sanctioned.
Apart from upgrading Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati airports to International airports, the night landing facility at Rajahmundry Airport was made operational and the runway expansion is going on with great speed. In Kadapa Airport, the runway was expanded and a new Terminal Building was inaugurated.
Similarly, rapid rail and road connectivity from the new capital of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh to Hyderabad and other important cities of Andhra Pradesh is being taken up. NHAI has agreed to Rs. 20,000 crores for a 384 km Anantapur-Amaravati expressway and Rs. 19,700 crores for outer ring road to capital town of Amaravati. The revival of Buckingham Canal at a cost of Rs. 7,015 crores is another major project to improve inland water transport facilities. Road and inland transport projects worth more than Rs. 1 lakh crores have been approved. Later, Shri Naidu publicly thanked the Centre for the same.
For better Rail connectivity in the region, project worth Rs. 50,000 crores have been sanctioned, which are at various stages of execution. 2,584 km of railway lines are being doubled with an outlay of Rs. 23,137 crores. 2,213 km of new lines are being laid at a cost of 20,301 crores. 15 new projects have been sanctioned with an outlay of Rs. 26,403 crores. The work of new line between Vijayawada and Guntur via Amaravati has been sanctioned in 2017-18 at a cost of Rs. 2,679.59 crores which provides connectivity to the new capital city, Amaravati. The other main projects include a 309 km long new line Nadikude-Srikalahasti at a cost of Rs. 2,289 Cr, Guntakal-Guntur (401 km) doubling project with electrification at a cost of Rs. 3,631 Cr. AP Express, Super-fast daily train Visakhapatnam-Delhi,Humsafar Non-Daily Express trains Vijayawada-Howrah and Tirupati-Jammutawi are running.
Rs. 2,500 crores assistance for Capital City, for development of essential infrastructure etc has been provided. A record number of houses for the poor were sanctioned - the highest ever for any state -11.29lakh houses under the PMAY-Urban programme. Also four Smart Cities and several projects under AMRUT scheme for development of urban infrastructure were sanctioned. Amaravati has been included under Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) for holistic development.
Rs. 1,050 crores development grant for 7 backward districts of the state covering Rayalaseema and North Coastal Region has been provided.
The Centre also notified tax incentives in seven backward districts under section 32(1)(iia) and section 32AD of the Income-Tax Act.
Accordingly, any manufacturing undertaking set up from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2020 in these districts is eligible for 15% of higher additional depreciation and 15% of investment allowance on the cost of plant and machinery acquired by it during that period.
The Centre also extended support to make Andhra Pradesh surplusin power and ended the chronic power shortage and power cuts that plagued the state. This was made possible due to the launch of ‘Power for All’ and Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (at a benefit of Rs. 4,400 crore). The Government also sanctionedSolar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Project at a cost of about Rs. 24,000 crore. 2.2 crores LED bulbs were provided to consumers saving Rs. 1,100 crores for consumers annually. In addition, 23.8 lakh streetlights were replaced with LED streetlights saving taxpayers money by reducing cost.
The Government of India after examining the feasibility reports of Metro Rails for Vishakhapatnam and Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali Metropolitan Urban Development Authority wanted to implement these projects in the quickest possible time. The revised proposals for both the projects are awaited from AP government.
As regards Duggirajupatnam project, it was found to be unviableand the AP government was asked to suggest an alternative site. The state Government has still not come forward with a proposal. In a bid to hoodwink people, Shri Naidu laid the foundation stone as a minor port for Ramayanapatnam project without financial support.
After SAIL had declared the proposal to set up a steel plant at Kadapa as unviable, the Centre constituted a Task Force, which held consultations with the state Government and wanted to take it up under PPP mode with support from both state and Centre. However, Shri Naidu indulged in political one-upmanship and laid foundation stone without financial allocation.
The issue of establishing a new railway zone was studied by a Railways committee and is under examination due to the operational complexities and inter-state issues.
The infrastructure projects will get off the ground soon and get completed even before the stipulated time of 10 years mentioned in the Act.
As regards granting Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, the Centre has been constrained by the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, which did not make a distinction between special and general category states for financial support and tax devolution. As a result, the Centre in consultation with the state Government worked out special assistance for AP.
The Central Government has agreed to give a special assistance measure forAndhra Pradesh for five years, which would make up for the additional Central share the state might have received during these years, i.e. 2015-16 to 2019-20, as envisaged in the then Prime Minister’s statement dated 20.2.2014.
This will be in the form of Central Government funding for externally aided projects for Andhra Pradesh.In view of the FRBM limits of the state, the Centre wanted the state Government to create a SPV so that money can be transferred to the SPV. This was conveyed by the Centre to the state government officials during their discussions on February 6–7, 2018. Still the response from the state government is awaited.
In view of the special circumstances in which Andhra Pradesh found itself following the bifurcation, the Central Government went beyond the provisions contained in the Act.
In fact, various Ministries have been requested to give additional and special projects to Andhra Pradesh and more than Rs. 3 lakh crores worth of such projects (along with those mentioned in the AP Reorganization Act 2014) are being implemented in the state. In fact, several projects not mentioned in the AP Reorganization Act were also sanctioned.
The Union Government also went out of its way to approve Special Assistance Measure to Andhra Pradesh by way of special dispensation in funding of Externally Aided Projects (EAP). In an incredibly quick time, several projects were sanctioned under this special assistance. The state did not exploit full potential of the offer, and failed to submit the adequate proposals.
National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) and National Investment Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) were approved much earlier but these projects could not progress as the needed land is yet to be allocated by state government.
RINL and GoAP signed MOU that envisages investment of around Rs. 38,500 crores to take up various projects at Visakhapatnam with an employment opportunity to around 3,000 people.
A separate High Court for Andhra Pradesh has already started functioning from January this year.
The Centre paved the way for the development of capital city by denotifying forest land in the capital region following a request from the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
A total amount of Rs. 1,37,977.25 crores has been released so far as per recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. As regards revenue deficit for 2013-14, the Central Government has arrived at an amount of Rs. 4,117.89 crores as Resource Gap for that year and an amount of Rs. 3,979.50 crores has already been released to Andhra Pradesh.
Various Ministries have sanctioned and approved additional projects to Andhra Pradesh with an outlay of more than Rs. 3 lakh crores. This illustrates the extraordinary manner in which the Government of India prioritized Andhra Pradesh in its assistance.
Below are the list of institutions and projects that are sanctioned or approved, and are at various stages ofcompletion, which being taken up as for all round development of Andhra Pradesh in addition to those mentioned in AP Reorganization Act.
In the end, I would like to say to all of you that Shri Chandrababu Naidu has broken the trust of the people of Andhra Pradesh. His delusional politics is about to end. Our full faith and belief is in 'सत्यमेव जयते’. Let us jointly contribute to the development of Andhra Pradesh and India.