YSRC MPs vow to fight for APs rights in Parliament

By DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sampat G Samaritan

7 February 2023

Vijayawada: The ruling YSR Congress MPs are disappointed that there have been "no major allocations" in the Union Budget 2023-24 for several important railway and other projects of Andhra Pradesh.

Alleging that the BJP-led NDA was showing bias towards AP, these MPs have vowed to raise voice in Parliament to safeguard the interests of the state.

MP from Narasaraopet, Lavu Sri Krishna Devarayalu, said in New Delhi on Monday that the party MPs would ask the Union railway ministry to come clear on allocation of Rs 8,500 crore in the budget for railways, as to how this amount would be spent and for what all projects.

Turning down the criticism that the AP government was not paying money for land acquisition for railway projects, he said that the Centre was talking about the projects that had got sanction before 2014. “The Centre is not caring about the weak financial status of AP after its bifurcation.”

He said YSRC MPs would appeal to the Centre once again to make changes vis-à-vis the stipulation for AP’s shares in taking up certain railway projects in the state.

In specific, the MPs want AP’s share in taking up the Nadikudi-Srikalahasthi railway line to be changed, unlike the agreement entered into between the Centre and the states before 2014, as AP’s financial condition was not good in the post-bifurcation scenario.

Citing the examples from Bihar and Jharkhand where earlier agreements in cost-sharing for some railway projects were changed, the MP said, “We would make an appeal to the Centre to do this for AP as well.”

Another YSRC MP from Tirupati, M. Gurumoorthy, said, “We are preparing proposals for developing the Tirupati bus stand as a model facility at a cost of Rs 500 crore. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy himself took up the issue to the notice of the Union roads and highways minister Nitin Gadkari during his visit to Vijayawada.

The MP said a proposal was to study the feasibility for developing a rope ay in Tirupati while proposals for a similar facility at Srikalahasti were already made. He sounded confident the requisite permission would come from the Centre.

The MP expressed displeasure over sanction of Rs 220 crore for the Nadikudi-Srikalahasti railway works and vowed to mount pressure on the Centre for allocation of more funds. “If AP gets permissions for developing a cargo terminal in Krishnapatnam, it would help us develop transport facilities in an expeditious manner.”

Gurumoorthy listed out certain projects that got sanction from the Centre, like for the setting up of a planetarium at Tirupati at a cost of Rs 13 crore, a food lab at a cost of Rs 10 crore in Sri Venkateswara University, the earmarking of Rs 2 crore for another project at Mahila Visvavidyalayam etc.

He said that based on their request, the Centre was showing the Brahmotsvams being held at Tirupati, Srikahasti and Kanipakam in the national Utsav portal. He sounded confident about the setting up of a central forensic university in Tirupati. CM Jagan Mohan Reddy had sought this from Union minister Amit Shah.

Meanwhile, several YSR Congress MPs vowed to continue their push with the Centre to fulfill its assurances made to AP during the bifurcation in 2014.

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