Centre to implement AP Reorganisation Act in toto

  • Sonia urges Modi to help AP
  • Reminds the govt. of obligations under Act

NEW DELHI: Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu has said the Union government was committed to implement all the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reogranisation Act, 2014.

Venkaiah Naidu spoke at length on various issues relating to the formation of the State of Telangana, giving special category status to Andhra Pradesh and implementation of the Act during his intervention in the debate on AP Reorganisation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The Bill seeks to enhance the strength of AP Legislative Council from 50 that was erroneously mentioned in the Act of 2014 to 58 as per the Constitutional provision.

Venkaiah said having promised Telangana as early as in 2004, the Congress waited till 2014 and drafted the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 in a hurry resulting in several errors like incorrect mention of the strength of AP Legislative Council, allotting Rajya Sabha members hailing from one state to the other, not properly addressing the issue of submergence under Polavaram project etc. He informed the House that the NDA Government has inherited such a legislation and is sincerely making efforts to implement all the provisions of the Act.

Responding to Sonia Gandhi’s observations on giving the Special Category status to Andhra Pradesh, Naidu thanked the Congress Party for thinking of the interests of that State after nine months. He asked the Congress as to why the issue of special catergory was not included in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 which would have made it easier for the Government to act on it.  Naidu referred to what senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily has said on the issue of special category status to Andhra Pradesh while speaking on General Budget on Monday. Naidu quoted  Moily’s observations as below:

“There will be a flight of capital from neighbouring states like Karnataka, Kerala and Bihar. There should be a method followed while giving such incentives to one state. All of them will go and invest there and nothing wrong in it.  But the question is how can you create this kind of inequality and inequity between one state and the other. It is a major issue. After all, you are an arbitrator sitting in the Government of India. You will have to look after the interest of very state.”

Venkaiah Naidu noted that what Moily raised reflects the issues involved in taking a decision in the matter and hence, the process is taking time. Venkaiah, while referring to media reports after the Act was passed in the Rajya Sabha, acknowledged that he spoke for the interests of the people of Andhra Pradesh as they needed to be done justice further to bifurcation. He refuted the criticism that he has gone back on his demands.

Naidu said the Union government is very keen about taking the Act forward and reminded the members of the House that the Polavaram Ordinance was the second decision taken by the Modi Government in its first Cabinet meeting after assuming office, to take the irrigation project forward. He assured the house that the issue of rehabilitation of tribals will be addressed to in all seriousness by the central and state governments. He said that contrary to the assurances given to him by some union ministers, the then UPA government did not do the needful to address the issue of submergence in seven mandals and to enable implementation of Polavaram project.

Naidu said that all parties including the Congress, BJP, TDP and CPI supported the demand for creation of a separate Telangana state and all should cooperate with each other for development of both the states.

Earlier, Congress president Sonia Gandhi made an appeal to the Prime Minister to look into the matter of giving financial assistance to AP. She also reminded the PM of the obligation on the part of the government to give the residuary state a special status. (NSS)

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