Amid strain, Naidu asks Modi to provide money to Andhra
New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Amid visible tensions between the TDP and BJP, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Friday and urged him to fulfil all the commitments when the stat was split.
During an hour-long meeting, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President discussed with Modi what he said were unfulfilled promises under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act and submitted a 17-page memorandum.
The meeting assumes significance as it comes amid indications of strain in the relations between the Telugu Desam Party and its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Naidu, who called on Modi after one-and-a-half year, appealed to Modi to take immediate steps on long pending demands keeping in view the next year’s simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assembly.
The TDP has already dropped hints that its patience with the Centre was growing thin. The party MPs had also met Modi on the last day of the winter session to submit him a memorandum.
Naidu wanted the Centre to immediately sanction Rs 58,000 crore required for the Polavaram project.
He urged Modi to ensure that sufficient funds were allocated in the central budget for development of the new state capital Amaravati.
He wanted Modi to take urgent steps to increase the number of seats in the state Assembly from 175 to 225 as committed in the Reorganisation Act.
The TDP brought to Modi’s notice that the state was yet to receive Rs 3,000 crore from the Centre towards the expenditure incurred so far on Polavaram project. He sought release of the money.
Naidu said the Centre should totally fund the cost of the project, which has been declared a national project.
While announcing special package in lieu for the special status in 2016, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely had declared that the entire expenditure of the project would be borne by the Centre.
Naidu told Modi that Andhra Pradesh suffered huge losses due to bifurcation of the state as it had to face financial problems. He said further delay in fulfilling the commitments given in the Act will add to the problems.
As the state has to receive Rs.20,010 crore from Centre in the form of Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) under the special package, Naidu urged Modi to provide the funding assistance as central grant from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) instead of loans through external funding agencies.
The state government expects Rs 20,010 crore for 2015-16 to 2019-20 for taking up EAPs under the special package. It has already sent proposals for various projects to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under EAP.
However, Naidu pointed out that the state would not be in a position to utilise the entire special assistance amount within the 5-year period ending with 2019-20 as the projects under EAP will consume a lot of time for grounding and completing.