A day after a Union Minister almost made it clear that the State should not depend on Central funds and package, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has vowed to “mount pressure” on the Centre to do justice to Andhra Pradesh.
Seeking to remind the Centre that the Congress had suffered defeat for going against the aspirations of the people, Mr. Naidu said the bifurcation had resulted in gross injustice to the five crore people and the State was left to fend for itself. The onus lies on the Centre to rectify the anomalies of bifurcation and extend support until a level playing field had been reached among the southern states, he said.
Mr. Naidu chose to talk on the issue at two events—launching of Chandranna Sanchara Chikitsa and induction of YSR Congress Bobbili MLA R V Sujaya Krishna Ranga Rao — on Wednesday to drive home the point that the “State was serious on implementation of provisions in bifurcation Act.”
In fact it appeared as if Mr. Naidu was responding to Union Rural Development Minister Chowdary Birendra Singh's remarks inter alia Andhra Pradesh has requisite capabilities and can march ahead of others within a short period. “The States with high urban population have more revenues compared to Andhra Pradesh where agriculture is the predominant sector. The AP registered a growth of 2.35 per cent after sweat and toil of two years. We need to go a long way to create a Capital on par with Hyderabad,” he said.
While the urban population is 35 per cent in Karnataka and Telangana, 49 per cent in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, it is only 25 per cent in AP. The per capita income of Andhra was far less compared to the neighbouring states. Their per capita income was Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 40,000 more compared to us, he said, adding, “There were many structural deficiencies. To overcome it, we need hand holding.”
Noting that “wounds of unscientific bifurcation” still festered, the Chief Minister sought to remind the Centre, though not in so many words, that it would have to face wrath of the public if provisions of the Bifurcation Act were not implemented. Recalling that he met the Prime Minister and other Union Ministers for more than 15 times seeking Central assistance, Mr. Naidu said: “The people rejected Congress though it made many provisions in the Act. It did not get even 2 per cent votes. The Centre has to bear this in mind and start implementing the provisions.”