I give you my word, Rahul Gandhi tells Hindupur crowd; says bifurcation is now history
At his maiden public meeting in the Seemandhra region on Wednesday, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi promised to make Andhra Pradesh the country’s “most developed” State.
“I give you my word,” he said, adding that all assistance that is sought by the State would be provided by a Congress government at the Centre. Lauding the people of the region for being the country’s ‘most entrepreneurial’, Mr. Gandhi promised industrial and economic growth.
“Visakhapatnam would be provided an international airport, an industrial corridor, Metro Rail and oil refineries to develop the city and the State industrially,” Mr. Gandhi said. He added that Andhra University in Visakhapatnam would be made a central university. A Congress government at the Centre would complete the “long-pending” Polavaram project, he said, and so would the Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanti Project if the party were to come to power in the State.
Mr. Gandhi began his speech by saying that he would be “straightforward” about his views on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
“That stage (of the State’s bifurcation) is behind us,” Mr. Gandhi said, adding that he, along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had insisted and ensured that special category status be given to the residual state of Andhra Pradesh although the “prevalent view” was against it. He sought to assure people of Seemandhra that “Hyderabad belongs to all those who live there”, and that their safety and security would be his “top priority”. Students from Seemandhra would be provided special quota in higher education institutions in Hyderabad for the next ten years, he said.