Hyderabad: Implementation of provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act-2014, and also the assurances given by the then Prime Minister in Rajya Sabha, were a matter of "life and death" for people of the state, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said on Wednesday, even as the AP Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution requesting the Centre to expedite the implementation process.
The Chief Minister moved the resolution under Rule 77 in the Assembly listing 17 main issues that the state wanted the Centre to address immediately.
While extending support to the resolution, Leader of Opposition Y S Jaganmohan Reddy asked the Chief Minister if the Telugu Desam Party would issue an "ultimatum" to the Centre for implementing the Act in a month.
"Will you issue an ultimatum to the Centre that you will pull out your (two) ministers from the Narendra Modi government if it doesn't concede our demands in a month," Jagan asked.
The Chief Minister, however, brushed it aside saying it was a "life and death issue" for the people of the state and he was "seriously" pursuing it with the Centre.
The TDP hurriedly moved the resolution in the Assembly today as the Congress raised, in Parliament yesterday, issues like grant of special category status to AP and implementation of other provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act.
The House witnessed a bitter war of words between the Treasury and Opposition benches during the 130-minute debate before the resolution was adopted.
"While thanking the efforts of the Union Government in resolving certain issues pertaining to the state reorganisation, the House unanimously resolves to request the Government of India to implement expeditiously all the provisions contained in the AP Reorganisation Act 2014 and all other commitments made in the Act and assurances made by then Prime Minister in Rajya Sabha on February 20, 2014 and to continue to handhold the state till it achieves level-playing field on par with neighbouring states," the resolution said.
The AP government also sought implementation of Section 8 that pertains to law and order maintenance issues in the joint capital Hyderabad under the direct supervision of the Governor, who is also common for the two states.
Some of the main issues that the AP government wanted the Centre to address were: release of balance grant to bridge the resource gap; completion of Polavaram irrigation project, which has been declared a national project, by 2018; fiscal measures like tax incentives to promote industrialisation and economic growth and provision of special financial support for the new capital.
Establishment of Railway Zone at Visakhapatnam, increase in number of seats in the Legislative Assembly from 175 to 225, amending Presidential Order pertaining to local status with regard to education and employment, establishment of steel plant at Kadapa, port at Dugarajapatna, in SPS Nellore district and amending the AP Reorganisation Act to correct anomalies pertaining to taxation were some of the other issues raised by the AP government.
The Chandrababu Naidu government also wanted the Centre to provide support to the state police department for raising additional forces and setting up state-of-the-art Greyhounds training centre and new operational wings as enshrined in the Reorganisation Act.
It also asked the Centre to expedite the process of allocation of government employees between the two states as AP was facing shortage of staff.
Bharatiya Janata Party floor leader P Vishnu Kumar Raju said the Narendra Modi government sanctioned projects worth Rs 1.40 lakh crore to AP in the last 18 months. "This is unprecedented," he said.
Non-incorporation of the special category state promise in the AP Reorganisation Act was proving to be a hitch in according the status, the BJP leader pointed out but added that the Centre was co-operating with the state in all matters.
The YSRC chief questioned the Chief Minister's sincerity in getting things done by the Centre.
Certain remarks he made against the Chief Minister led to an uproar from the TDP-BJP combine.
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in Rajya Sabha that all commitments made towards Andhra Pradesh in letter and spirit would be fulfilled.
"Centre is fully committed to helping the newly created state after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. There are several commitments, which are involved in the AP Reorganisation Act. Centre is going to honour each one of those commitments in letter and spirit," the Finance Minister said.
Referring to the revenue deficit, Jaitley said, "Each paisa or rupee of this revenue deficit is being paid to Andhra Pradesh. We will continue to pay that".
He said institutions have to be set up in Andhra Pradesh. Foundation stones have been laid, funds have been sanctioned and in some cases work is also in an advance stage, he said.
On the new capital, Jaitley said the state is making considerable "headway" towards it. Funds have been sanctioned and more would be released towards it, he added.
Keeping the limitations of the 14th Finance Commission and resources, "Whatever commitment have been made is going to be honoured", the Minister said.