A day after the birth of Telangana, Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking implementation of all the commitments made by the previous Congress-led government to recoup the loss of revenue to Andhra Pradesh.
The letter followed a series of meetings by Congress leaders from Seemandhra with the party leadership, including Ms. Gandhi, on the need for the party to be proactive in ensuring justice to Andhra Pradesh.
The Congress was virtually wiped out from Seemandhra in the recent Lok Sabha and Assembly elections as its decision to form Telangana did not go down well with the people of the region. In a bid to regain the confidence of the people, the Congress has decided to vigorously pursue measures it promised for the speedy development of Andhra Pradesh.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had outlined five specific commitments to redress the grievances of the people of Seemandhra, particularly on account of the loss of revenue from Hyderabad.
The most important commitment was to grant “special status” to Andhra Pradesh. However, the UPA managers realised that granting special status to a State was the domain of the National Development Council (NDC). Besides, several States such as Bihar and Odisha have also been demanding special status for some time now. Fulfilling the demand for Seemandhra is bound to be a challenging task for the Modi government.
Execution of Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project is another contentious issue. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the ruling party in Telangana, has raised serious objections on transfer through an ordinance of some of the mandals from the Telangana region to Andhra Pradesh for the project.
In her letter Ms. Gandhi, while promising support of her party in implementing all the commitments, said the Act under which the two new States had been carved out contained various investment and other commitments by the government of India to the Seemandhra region.
“ ... The groundwork for many of them, like in the area of water resources, grant of special category status and facilitating the Polavaram project had already been laid by the erstwhile UPA government. I do hope that your administration will build on what we had accomplished and take them forward,” the letter stated.
The most important commitment was to grant “special status” to Andhra Pradesh Execution of Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project is another contentious issue
The most important commitment was to grant “special status” to Andhra Pradesh
Execution of Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project is another contentious issue