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Who Will Stand Up For AP?

Can one man's death have such an impact? Following the death of YSR, the State has been bifurcated, and Andhra Pradesh has been treated like a football by every political party at the Centre.

Livelihoods of many people have been affected and the State has had to make a new beginning to get back on the road to prosperity. None of these things would have happened had YSR been alive.

But the biggest benefit that would have undoubtedly accrued to Andhra Pradesh had YSR been alive was a share in the profits from the KG Basin.

As of now, Andhra Pradesh is not entitled to even a single rupee of profit from the lakhs of crores that the KG Basin would be generating to the Reliance Group and the Centre. But how is that possible? After all, the KG Basin is located in Andhra Pradesh, right? Sadly, the law does not allow for a royalty to AP as far as gas reserves are concerned.

Royalty is payable to the States only for onshore areas which means activities such as bauxite and coal mining etc. Royalty will go the Centre only in case of off shore areas (water-based) such as KG Basin.

States like Andhra Pradesh will be losing due to the distinction between onshore and offshore resources. But here’s the thing!  

The offshore exploration and development would impose an enormous stress on the infrastructure and environment of the Basin State. This means that gas will be extracted from the reserves found in Andhra Pradesh and used profitably by Reliance and the Centre, it is AP which will have to suffer in the form of ecological damage but, AP will not get a single penny out of all this. Where is the justice in this?

In fact, a parliamentary panel on petroleum and natural gas had also recommended that share in the royalty be given to the States too, a recommendation that has gone unheeded.  

If AP gets a share from KG-Basin, we would not need any special status at all. Chandrababu Naidu has made a request to the Centre that royalty be given to AP but with all due respect, it appears to be mere lip-service to the issue.

The Centre promised special status to AP and shamelessly went back on its word. Chandrababu has been unable to do anything about it. as far as the KG-Basin is concerned, he would not only be taking on the Centre but also the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani.

And by the way, there are umpteen allegations of irregularities against Reliance regarding the KG-Basin. The previous UPA government allegedly acted like a slave of Reliance in granting them undue favours at the cost of the nation’s well-being.

And Justice OP Shah Committee appointed by the NDA government to probe a dispute between ONGC and Reliance in KG-Basin has declared that Reliance had fraudulently appropriated 8.9 billion cubic metres of gas that had migrated to KG D6 from adjacent fields.

On one hand, we have a Central government that brazenly goes back on promises made in Parliament. On the other, we have a company which probably doesn’t have the word ‘Ethic’ in its dictionary.

What can Chandrababu who couldn’t do anything regarding the special status issue do against the combined might of these two entities? Inconceivable! Where is the man who would stand up for AP and protect the self-respect and dignity of the Andhras?

Where is the leader who would put the interests of the Telugus above all other petty considerations such as caste, region and religion? Who will be the savior of AP?

Kiran Sharma

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Tags: Anshra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu K G Basin YSR