Vijayawada: Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has expressed renewed doubts about Lok Sabha seats in the southern states being reduced, citing the 2011 census.
Addressing a two-day collectors’ conference at his Undavalli residence on Tuesday, the CM said, “I argued the same issue with then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee.”
He added that 10 Assembly seats were reduced in Andhra Pradesh while there was an increase of 14 seats in Telangana owing to migration. He said he raised the issue during the Vajpayee regime and as a result, the population of 1971 was used as a cut-off mark under the 14th Finance Commission.
Mr Naidu also said he had implemented measures to control population during his earlier stint as chief minister. “We even competed with Kerala in the matter of population control,” Mr Naidu said, and added that fresh doubts are now arising following the 15th Finance Commission’s decision to take the 2011 Census as a benchmark. “If that happens, we will forego more,”Mr Naidu said, adding that the number of Parliament seats across South India would also be reduced.
The AP government will continue efforts to ensure overall development, and at the same time, fight for what is right, Mr Naidu reiterated.
The terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission related to population data from the 2011 Census is nothing but an act of hindering progressive states, he said.
“This penalises states that have performed well in terms of population control. Also, many ToR are extremely unjust to states as they oppose the idea of decentralisation,” he added.
“Andhra Pradesh overcame a lot of injustice during the bifurcation. When we started out, our resources and infrastructure were insufficient. Our relationship with the Centre continues to remain tense owing to the unfair behaviour toward our state,” he said.