TDP leader slams Congress, reminds BJP of promises

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New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Slamming the Congress for a hasty and unscientific division of Andhra Pradesh, TDP leader Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday also told the BJP to keep its promises to the state.

Raju, who was the Aviation Minister, resigned along with party colleague Y.S. Chowdary from the Modi government to protest against the “injustice” meted out to Andhra Pradesh by denying the state special category status.

Making a scathing attack on the Congress, which oversaw Andhra’s bifurcation, Raju said the division put a strain on the democratic process which was unparalleled in the world.

“Andhra Pradesh being reduced to the residue state of Andhra Pradesh in a rather unscientific manner threw its people in a situation where (they were) deprived of institutions, infrastructure, capital… reduced to the lowest per capita income among the region,” he said in the Lok Sabha.

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“Moreover, the way the division took place, along with the strain it put on democratic process, is probably unparalleled in any democratic republic in the world,” Raju said, amid uproar from Congress benches.

“Intensive discussions addressing all concerns was absent. We were thankful to the then opposition who extracted reluctant assurances from the then government which raised hopes over future.”

He said that while farmers gave up land to set up institutions in the new capital, “they find it difficult to accept complicated figures and drafts” and were baffled that assurances given in Parliament were still being debated.

Saying the TDP always had a “national outlook”, he said: “Trying to get all shades of political thoughts on a common platform is not easy. Yet the effort continues. Telugus have always been proud Indians.

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“Democratic processes should always address people’s aspirations. It is in this context that I hope that the points raised during the division will be attended to logically,” he said.

Raju thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for extending cooperation to the two TDP ministers.

The TDP has been protesting in Parliament since the budget was presented, stating the state had not been given the due it was promised when Telangana was created.

–IANS

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