“We have 10 years. We will decide when to go and from where to operate and where to build the capital,” said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday.
He said the legislation passed by parliament has given his state government the right to be in Hyderabad for 10 years and said all issues arising out of the bifurcation must be settled legally.
Releasing a white paper on the impact of the state reorganization, which described Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act as the fountainhead of the problems, he urged Telangana to abide by it, saying this would avoid further complications.
Lashing out at the previous UPA government for doing grave injustice to Andhra Pradesh the way it broke the state, the chief minister demanded a level-playing field for both the states.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government invited suggestions from all sections of the society as well as the political parties “in addressing the grave injustice inflicted on Andhra Pradesh”.
The white paper was released minutes before Naidu met his Telangana counterparty K. Chandrasekhar Rao to discuss the bifurcation of government employees in Hyderabad.
Reiterating that he played a key role in building Hyderabad as an IT destination and an economic hub when he was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh between 1995 and 2004, Naidu said he had a major responsibility in protecting Brand Hyderabad.
“We have 10 years. We will decide when to go and from where to operate and where to build the capital,” Naidu said to a query.
He said though Hyderabad has been declared the common capital for 10 years, the UPA government had neither created an institutional framework essential for effective governance of the common capital nor put in place standard operating procedures that would provide equitable platform to both state governments and ensures safety and security of the citizens, and fair and equitable treatment of all concerned.
“To make matters worse, the State of Andhra Pradesh has not even been assigned a location for its capital city thus far. Instead, an expert committee has been set up by the central government to give its recommendation in six months from the appointed day. Yet another effort to snatch away the authority and the right of the new state to determine its own capital city,” said the whitepaper.
The TDP chief said Rs.5 lakh crore would be required to build a city like Hyderabad.
Naidu said lack of consultations by the previous UPA government with the key stakeholders and absence of consensus amongst major political parties created many problems.
He said lack of transparency and the cloak and dagger mode of drafting the bill, the insane pace with which it was pushed through the state legislature and parliament compounded problems.
Naidu said the act created disequilibrium, with negative consequences to the residuary Andhra Pradesh in several sectors.
He alleged that in a tearing hurry to please and placate certain sections of the state, the UPA government inflicted a serious blow to the fiscal health, developmental integrity of Telugu community.
He pointed out the resource gap for the 2014-15 fiscal year was estimated at Rs.18,236 crores.