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Sonia Accuses Modi Of Ignoring Andhra

Sonia Accuses Modi Of Ignoring Andhra

In her maiden speech in the 16th Lok Sabha, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday accused the Narendra Modi-led BJP government for failing to fulfill the promises made to Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation last year.

Initiating debate about the Andhra Reconstitution Bill, Congress president said: “While it is good that the number of Members of Legislative Council have been increased in Andhra Pradesh assembly by way of this Bill, why has the same sense of urgency not been shown in fulfilling the rest of demands of the state of Andhra Pradesh?" 

“Nine months have gone by and the people of Andhra Pradesh are beginning to feel that they have been taken for granted. I have written to the Prime Minister twice requesting him to speed up the implementation of commitments towards the state.”

She also said that the Centre has failed to deliver basic facilities to the people of Andhra Pradesh, which was bifurcated in June 2014 with the creation of Telangana.

In 2009, the Congress-led UPA had announced the creation of Telangana as a separate state. The immense criticism from the rest of Andhra Pradesh forced the UPA to suspend the decision.

The Congress was voted out of power in Andhra Pradesh last year.

"It is perplexing why commitments are not being fulfilled despite the BJP and the ruling TDP in the state sharing power at the Centre," she said, reminding the government of the promise of special status for Andhra Pradesh announced by former PM Manmohan Singh on February 20, 2014.

"I have myself written twice to PM Modi twice, in June 2014 and again February this year to request him to speed up the fulfillment of commitments we all made to the people of Andhra through the AP Reorganisation Act in February 2014. But nine months on, little has been done in the direction. The PM should give his personal attention to these commitments which are vital."

“In the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, we provided for tax incentives to encourage industry in Andhra but those have also not been offered yet,” she said.

She also demanded immediate implementation of the Pollavaram project, calling it urgent.

"Pollavaram is a national project and must get off immediately, " said Congress chief, adding that many other demands, including a petroleum university, sanction of a rail zone and a petroleum refinery, of Andhra Pradesh are yet to be fulfilled.

Sonia Gandhi said that the UPA regime had also committed resources for the state to have its own capital.

"Unfortunately nothing substantive has been given. People of the state are anguished over apathy being shown by the government," she said. 

Taking a jibe at the Congress chief for her speech, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said he was “thankful” to Sonia Gandhi for finally remembering AP.

“You took nine years to grant statehood to Telangana. By that standard, a delay of nine months in fulfilling commitments to Andhra were not much,” he said.

Congress MPs objected to Naidu’s remarks.