'Stale laddus' remark pained me: Venkaiah
Tirupati: Union Minister M Venkaiah on Saturday reiterated that the bifurcation of the State was not done judiciously and scientifically. Addressing a public meeting at this world famous temple town, Venkaiah Naidu alleged that the then Congress-led UPA government at the Centre had done great injustice to the residuary Andhra Pradesh. Not only the special category status is given legality, but also several other concessions that the State is eligible for are totally ignored, he added.
"I was totally disturbed during the period when the Reorganisation Bill was brought before Parliament," he said and stated that he was totally restive when the Bill was brought before the Rajya Sabha. The sentiments of the people of the State were totally not taken into consideration, the Union Minister observed.
"In fact, I told BJP senior leader LK Advani that I will not rest till justice is done to the State. It is because of my insistence that the irrigation projects are included in the Bill," Venkaiah claimed. "When I had strived to protect the interests of Andhra Pradesh, I was pained to know that the package announced to the State was termed as stale laddus," he observed. In an oblique reference to the Congress, the Union Minister said that it is surprising that those who had lost deposits in the last elections are now conducting people's ballots on special category status. It is because of this party that the whole country had not witnessed development in the past 50 years.
Venkaiah Naidu reaffirmed that the Centre has agreed to fill the revenue deficit of Andhra Pradesh and that the foreign loans are now being sanctioned to the State to take up developmental works. This is in lieu of the status which is not possible now, he stated.
Mentioning that some parties began questioning the Centre now as to why the responsibility of completing the Polavaram project is given to the State government, Venkaiah clarified that the State can execute the works fast since its prestige is at stake. The Centre will bear the entire expenditure of the irrigation component of the project, he noted.
On his arrival at the Renigunta airport accompanied by Minister Kamineni Srinivas and BJP State unit president Haribabu, the Union Minister is given a rousing welcome and was taken in a massive rally from the airport to PLR Gardens in Tirupati. Responding to the grand reception, Venkaiah Naidu said that he feels that the rousing reception given to him is for the package announced by the Centre for the State.