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People Will Take Harsh Decisions If They Feel Cheated

AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said, in an indirect warning to the BJP, that people would take "harsh decisions" if they felt "cheated".

Mr Naidu, who had so far spoken only in the Telugu Desam Party's internal meetings in the last fortnight about the "injustice" done to AP in the Union Budget 2018-19, opened up for the first time at an official meeting in the secretariat here this afternoon.

Addressing a budget preparatory conference this afternoon, Mr Naidu said that Andhra Pradesh had not got what was due from the Centre as per the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

"The Centre has not fulfilled its promises made in the Reorganisation Act and in Parliament. Funds were not adequately granted to the state. If people come to a firm opinion that they have been cheated and made to lose, they will take harsh decisions," the Andhra Pradesh CM warned.

He added that the Congress had split the state in an "irrational manner" and had paid the price.

"The Congress party, which was in power at the Centre, split the state in an irrational manner. So people gave their verdict in the 2014 elections very strongly and made the party bite the dust. It could not even save its deposits," he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister announced that the Budget session of the Andhra Pradesh Legislature would commence on March 5, with Governor E S L Narasimhan addressing a joint session of the AP Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly.

The state Budget for 2018-19 would be presented on March 8, Mr Naidu informed.

While the state achieved an average economic growth rate of 11-12 per cent in the last three years, the target for the coming year had been set at 15 per cent, he said.

"We are analysing the gross state domestic product (GSDP)contribution every quarter. Some departments are doing well but there is no progress in some other departments. They have to improve their performance to achieve the targeted growth," he said.

Mr Naidu said that reforms were being implemented in all the departments by abolishing old laws and bringing in new laws wherever required and it would be done without any compromise.

He remarked that nothing could be achieved with the old methods and development was possible only through new innovative ones, adding that officials should realise this fact and work accordingly to achieve government goals.

The Chief Minister also announced that, on the lines of making the state open defecation-free (ODF), the government would launch a "PHF (pothole-free) drive" to make roads safer.

"We are ahead in making good use of technology as well," he noted. (PTI)

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