A.P. will be made a model State: Naidu

HYDERABAD NOV.1. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, said here today that his Government was determined to check corruption, maintain law and order and develop backward areas on a par with the more developed regions and make Andhra Pradesh a model State.

Speaking at the Andhra Pradesh formation Day celebrations after unfurling the Tricolour and reviewing a march-past by police contingents at the NTR Stadium, he referred to the attempt on his life by the People's War on the Tirumala Ghat Road a month ago, and declared that he was undeterred by the attack. "Though they have bodily harmed me, there is no question of my getting cowed down psychologically or in any other way. I am prepared to lay down my life for the people of the State," he said amid applause from school children and others.

Criticising extremists for pursuing an impractical ideology, he said that even Communist nations such as China and Vietnam were implementing reforms. "The whole world has changed, but they have not changed." He said that the extremists had over the years had killed 2,475 people and about 80 per cent of the victims were Dalits, tribals and other weaker sections. People's representatives, who opposed their ideology, and efficient police officers, were also killed by them.

Pointing out that maintenance of law and order was an essential prerequisite for development, he said there had been no communal trouble in Hyderabad during the past many years. Similarly, factionalism and rowdyism were firmly controlled by the Government.

Mr. Naidu said his Government had initiated several measures for achieving the goals of Vision 2020 document which envisaged eradication of poverty, creation of more jobs and an egalitarian society. The reforms initiated in several areas, including economy, labour and administration, were yielding good results and wasteful expenditure was being curbed. Andhra Pradesh was ahead of other States in overall reduction of poverty as also rural poverty. While the people living below the poverty line in the country was 21 per cent, it was 15.77 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, 20.4 per cent (Karnataka) 21.02 per cent ( Tamil Nadu) , 25.02 (Maharashtra) and 47.15 per cent (Orissa).

The Chief Minister also listed out various development and welfare measures initiated by the Government for farmers, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, minorities, backward classes and women. In view of the drought for the past three years, a Rs.600-crore package had been unveiled for farmers. An amount of Rs.9,000 crores was spent on major, medium and minor irrigation projects creating an additional 10 lakh acres of ayacut and stabilising another 18 lakh acres.

Some areas, however, remained backward due to historical reasons. The Government was focussing on their development by improving educational, irrigation and health facilities. Several projects were being implemented to utilise the Godavari waters for the development of backward regions to enable them to be on a par with the rest.

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