There is no denying the fact that injustice will be done to Andhra Pradesh as a result of bifurcation, but there seems to be no escape from it now. While keeping the State united will be the best solution to the problem, people of Seemandhra can demand better packages for their respective regions if bifurcation is imminent.
This seemed to be the broad idea of most of the speakers at the roundtable on ‘Political solution to the prevailing uncertainty in the State in the wake of bifurcation’ organised by the Andhra Pradesh Journalists’ Forum (APJF) here on Wednesday.
APNGO, Vidyut, RTC JAC leaders, Youth JAC leader Adari Kishore, however, wanted nothing short of united Andhra Pradesh and expressed their readiness to launch another struggle towards achieving that end.
Minister for Tribal Affairs P. Balaraju, while describing the Samaikyandhra agitation as a “people’s movement,” wondered as to how long the people of Seemandhra would have to be at the mercy of Telangana leaders, when there was immense potential for development of Seemandhra region. Referring to the issue of neglect of Seemandhra region by successive governments and concentrating only on development of Hyderabad, Mr. Balaraju said though there were definite policies, the problem lay in their implementation.
He recalled that lands valued at Rs.13,000 crore were sold in Visakhapatnam for utilising the money elsewhere. On discrimination to Seemandhra in the allocation of power, IT development, and creation of assets for RTC, he said all these had been happening since decades. He recalled that the Wanchoo Committee had said long ago that in the event of division of the State, Visakhapatnam was best suited to become the capital. Despite having inherent advantages, Visakhapatnam had remained neglected for long.
The King George Hospital and Andhra University were started during the British time, but their growth post-Independence was far from satisfactory. The only major development was the construction of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant in the post-Independent era in the city. The creation of a new railway zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam could end the injustice to Waltair Division, he felt. CII (Vizag) Chairman G. Sambasiva Rao and CITU leader Mani spoke.
A journalist from Hyderabad Karunakar felt that both Telangana and Seemandhra regions would suffer after bifurcation. TDP leader and former Minister Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy, Vizag Journalists’ Forum president Gantla Srinu Babu, APJF honorary president Kandula Ramesh and president Chevula Krishnanjaneyulu were among those who attended.