Andhra Pradesh citizens felt very cheated at the time of state’s bifurcation itself. There were severe doubts on how a state would survive without a capital, without any big city which could attract investments ( or even compete with Hyderabad) and with a revenue deficit to start with. Andhra’s problems were humongous. It is primarily an agrarian economy with very little industrialization. Jobs were concentrated in Hyderabad as were good educational institutions. Half of the state, 7 districts ( of Rayalaseema and Uttarandhra) out of 13 districts were very backward.
n this background, the assurances from the PM hopeful, Narendra Modi, were the ones which people latched on to. There was also hope that Venkaiah Naidu who was widely expected to play an important role at the centre, would be of great help and play the role of the ” voice of the people of Andhra Pradesh”. When TDP -BJP combine came to power both at the centre and the state, many people actually felt that enough support will flow from the centre to help the beleaguered state.
After 20 months since June 2014, many of these hopes have been belied. True, things have moved fast in the education centre with clarity and some action on the IIT, IIM, AIIMS etc. But apart from that, there is only darkness. Look at the following list, which is only a list of some important issues. There are many more which are part of the re-organisation bill and have been promised by the then PM, Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha. No body really knows what is happening on these.
- Special status for andhra Pradesh
- Special incentives for setting up industries in Andhra Pradesh
- Centre’s financial help for Amaravati
- Railway Zone with head quarters at Vizag
- Funds for Polavaram
What is worse is that the state government headed by Chandrababu Naidu does not seem to be pushing hard enough for the state’s demands. They say that they are doing their bit of lobbying and pushing. But the people are now losing hope on these words. There is no need to do back-door lobbying on any of the above. These demands are ” a matter of right and honour” for Andhra Pradesh.
It is high time that the state fights openly with the centre on these issues. Enough of goody-goody soft attitude towards the centre. We need not plead and request on something that is a matter of right. The honour and self-respect of the state is now under question and is hurt.
Chandrababu Naidu will do well to understand this.
Updates as on 15th March 2016