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Updated: August 15, 2013 13:54 IST

Balaraju wants discussion on tribal areas

Special Correspondent
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Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju.
The Hindu Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju.

He moots separate districts for Paderu, Utnur and Bhadrachalam

The fate of tribal areas must be discussed and also the future of Visakhapatnam city, Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju felt while giving his opinion on the prevailing situation in the State.

“Many issues have to be settled in case they stick to the decision (of bifurcating the State). Paderu, Utnoor and Bhadrachalam must be made separate districts considering the tribal population in these areas. Visakhapatnam is always being projected as a city with huge scope for development but what progress it has seen? Did Andhra University progress further as a Central University, did KGH develop as expected, did the super speciality VIMS started functioning,” Mr. Balaraju told some reporters here on Wednesday. He said Girijan areas did not develop on par with plain areas and no Collector or Joint Collector would visit them frequently as they do in the case of plain areas. One solution was to make such areas as districts so that better attention could be paid to them. He was also of the opinion that lower Bhadrachalam area must be with Andhra area since it was with East Godavari till 1956.

Mr. Balaraju, who did not resign in spite of a demand for the same from the Samaikyandhra agitators, said agitation was a democratic right but the several organisations that were engaged in the agitation could talk to the Cabinet Sub-Committee. He had told the Sri Krishna Committee, the Congress high command and the Chief Minister that he was for a unified State but as one who was sailing all along with the Congress he would abide by the party’s decision. Party would take some decision and all members of the party should abide by the same, he said.

The Minister criticised the Telugu Desam and other parties for blaming the Congress for taking the decision to bifurcate though they had agreed for the same. It was only for political advantage, he added.

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