Vijayawada, May 30
Union Minister of State (MoS) PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had quit NDA for domestic political compulsions.
Addressing a Press Conference here, Dr Jitendra Singh said, at no point of time had the BJP prompted the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to leave NDA and on the other hand, it had been always very accommodative as far as the demands and the requirements put forward by the Chandrababu government. This is evident from the fact that for the first four years of the Modi Government, he said, the TDP was very comfortable with NDA and was also occupying two ministerial berths in the Union Government, but in the last one year, sensing strong anti-incumbency factor within the State and stiff competetion from other regional Parties within Andhra Pradesh, it started looking for excuses to walk out of NDA, so that it could make all kinds of accusations against BJP in the hope of seeking public sympathy and political mileage from the people of Andhra Pradesh on the eve of the Assembly election.
Citing figures and statistics, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Modi Government had provided Rs.2,25,000 crore financial assistance to Andhra Pradesh. Not only this, for the Polavaram Projects, Centre provided 100% financial assistance and even offered to take over the project, but the State Government was keen to retain it. For development of National Highways in Andhra Pradesh, he said, the Modi Government allocated Rs.64,000 crore, while for Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Rs.32,500 crore was allocated. In addition, the Central Government provided an amount of Rs.22,000 crore to the State towards compensation for Deficit Budget for a period of five years. He said, another Rs.3,300 crore had been allocated for setting up a Naval Airbase in Bobbili.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Andhra Pradesh has received maximum benefit of all the Central schemes initiated by the Modi Government in the last four years. For example, he said, under “Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana”, 1,93,142 houses had been undertaken for construction in the State. In addition, an IIIT, NIT, IIM, AIIMS, Petroleum University, Maritime University, and National Institute of Oceanography & Technology have been set up in the State by the Centre.
Dismissing Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s allegation that the TDP quit NDA because of non-acceptance of the demand for “special status”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has repeatedly reiterated that the Centre will provide all kinds of support, financial and otherwise, which is available to “special status” category States like Jammu & Kashmir, and there was no reason to dispute this offer by the State Government, but the Chief Minister wanted to sell the slogan of “special status” to hoodwink the innocent masses on the eve of State Assembly election. He said, however, the voter today is much more awakened than before and he is convinced that the Centre is always willing to offer all kinds of financial assistance to Andhra Pradesh, regardless of whether the ruling Party in the State is a part of the NDA or not.
Dr Jitendra Singh emphasized that the Modi Government has increased the Central share of funds for the States and has religiously followed the principle of equitable Central share funds and equitable support for development of every State, regardless of whichever be the ruling party in the State.