Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to make an announcement on the special package to Andhra Pradesh during his visit to Tirupati early next month to inaugurate the new terminal building of the airport. Top sources in the state government told TOI that Modi had confirmed his visit to Tirupati. The schedule will be finalised in a day or two.
Sources said it was decided at the meeting between chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and Modi in Delhi on Tuesday that the PM will make the announcement on special package in Tirupati as promised during an election rally in the temple town last year.Armed with the copies of speeches made by Modi and Venkaiah Naidu wherein both the leaders had assured special status to AP and construction of a capital city better than Hyderabad, Naidu presented his case during the 90-minute meeting with the PM. He also brought to the notice of the PM the recent suicide of a youth at Tirupati demanding special status and the growing public resentment over the delay on the issue.
Sources said Modi told the delegation that he would take necessary action to make Naidu `happy’ and would expedite the release of funds. The meeting saw some lighter moments with Naidu explaining his troubles without a capital and even a room to sleep in. When Naidu said he was sleeping in a bus as his office and guesthouse are under construction, Modi enquired how Naidu was managing in the rain and cold.
Modi laughed loudly when Naidu explained that he was spending more time in travelling from one place to another in the state to avoid the inconvenience. Modi assured that he would give top priority to release of funds for the capital construction and would ask the PMO to be in touch with Naidu’s office on all matters listed in the state bifurcation Act. Naidu sought an assistance of Rs 42,935 crore from Centre to construct state secretariat, Raj Bhavan, assembly , high court and staff quarters.
During the meeting, Modi enquired about the progress made in the capital construction Naidu said the Singapore government was roped in to develop it. The meeting broke into a laughter when Modi remarked that “they (Singapore government) are super bania“ and asked Naidu to be cautious.
Naidu also requested Modi to announce tax incentives for the state capital region on the lines of those given to Himachal Pradesh. Modi asked Arun Jaitley to examine the request and submit a report. Naidu thanked Modi profusely for the financial assistance released on March 31. He pointed out that the funds allocated to Polavaram project would not suffice to speed up the work and urged the PM to grant more to the `lifeline’ of AP. Naidu also urged Modi to set up a coordination mechanism to oversee the inter-state disputes with Telangana. Modi agreed to give instruction to home ministry to set up a separate cell to monitor the bifurcation issues.
Naidu had also invited Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone for the state capital on October 22.
“The meeting was fruitful and the Prime Minister has received the AP delegation with warmth. He assured that all the promises would be fulfilled and a specific timeline for the same would be made public soon,“ Union science and technology minister YS Chowdary told TOI after the meeting.
Source : Times of India, Hyderbad Edition