Completely miffed with Jaitley’s comments, Chandrababu Naidu called the Finance Minister’s tone an insult as he announced his ministers’ resignation.
18 months on, Bihar yet to receive PM’s Rs 125,000 crore package
With TDP having severed ties with NDA, more cases of unfilled elections promises by Prime minister of India Narendra Modi are coming out. Even 18 months after the Bihar assembly elections held in October 2015, the state still awaits a sum of Rs 1.25 lakh-crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the poll campaign, an RTI query has revealed. Mumbai RTI activist Anil Galgali filed the query with the Union finance ministry in December 2016 seeking details of Modi’s assurances on massive financial aid or development packages to various states. He also sought details of the action taken on the financial packages. However, deputy director in finance ministry Anand Parmar, while declining to provide a direct reply to the Right To Information query, has made the position clear in a roundabout manner.
“About the Rs 125,003-crore special package for Bihar, announced by PM for August 18, 2015 Parmar’s terse reply said that ‘the projects/works will be completed in a phased manner’ though not a paisa has been released till date,” Galgali said. “It is a shame that assurances to Bihar given by none other than the country’s Prime Minister, has failed with no action in the matter since one-and-half years,” Galgali commented.
“So many ‘jumlas’ have been shown to the 125 crore Indian population by the ruling BJP. But, the government’s own figures belie their tall claims, so how can they be taken seriously,” Galgali wondered. A similar situation prevails on the Rs 80,068 crore aid package Modi announced on November 7, 2015 for Jammu and Kashmir, where the BJP is a junior partner in the ruling coalition. It was intended to be used for long term relief and development after the state was hit by devastating floods that year, the RTI reply indicates. That’s not all. An aid package of Rs 43,589 to enhance tourism infrastructure sought by Sikkim on June 15, 2016, is yet to be disbursed even as the tourism season is around the corner. Galgali said this delay was hardly surprising since Sikkim, ruled by chief minister PK Chamling since December 1994, would face assembly elections only in mid-2019.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has announced TDP’s exit from the NDA government, and two of his ministers Ashok Ganapathi Raju and YS Chowdary have resigned from the union cabinet.
The TDP’s highly speculated move comes hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while talking to the media, justified the denial of special status to Andhra stating that the Centre is already giving the financial benefits equivalent to the Special Category Status through the special package.
The Andhra Chief Minister said that it is wrong to compare Andhra to other states that are backward. “We are asking for special status because it was promised to us during bifurcation,” he said. He added that he tried to reach out to the PMO but that it was unavailable.
Apart from the demand for special status, the party had also insisted that the Centre should bridge the Rs 16,000-crore revenue deficit and extend industrial incentives at par with other states.
During the meeting at Amravati, Naidu is said to have called the Centre’s attitude towards its demands “very disparaging and unacceptable.”
“We have time and again told the Centre that Special Category Status is our right as we have suffered immensely due to the unscientific and irrational bifurcation of state. We have also told them that Andhra Pradesh needs hand-holding by the Centre for some years to ensure a level-playing field among other states in south India, by fulfilling all the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act. But we are not getting response from the Centre. So should we continue in this alliance with the BJP?” he asked.
The TDP has been demanding the Centre to fulfil all commitments made in at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. Naidu had alleged that the Centre’s attitude was causing unrest among people. He had even threatened to move the Supreme Court over the Centre not fulfilling the commitments.
“What they committed, they are not giving, causing unrest among people,” the CM had said at the CII Partnership Summit in Visakhapatnam in February.
The wedge between the two parties came to fore once again after the Union Budget 2018-19 was announced. TDP cried hoarse that it had been given a raw deal.