Hyderabad: Disappointed over allocations to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget 2019-20 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, MPs belonging TRS and YSR Congress are gearing up to register their protest in both the Houses of Parliament in the coming days. In an era of competitive politics, they might enter the Well of the House too during the course of their protests.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy have expressed their disappointment over the budget and indicated that their MPs should take up the just demands of their respective states in the Parliament. MPs of TRS, ruling in Telangana, and YSR Congress, ruling in Andhra, will utilise the remaining part of the budget session, till 25 July.
Nirmala Sitharaman, who is often referred in these two states as daughter-in-law of Telugus (as per husband Parakala Prabhakar is a Telugu speaking person from Andhra) almost ignored the demands made by both the CMs in her maiden budget. She not only ignored the recent unanimous resolution passed by AP Assembly seeking special status to the state, but also was silent on other pleas of Jagan’s MPs.
Non-allocation of funds for a separate railway zone headquartered at Visakhapatnam too infuriated Jagan as he was expecting the commencement of its operations from this calendar year. Though the railway board hasn’t yet specified the allocations for each zone, there is an indication that the newly granted zone to Andhra Pradesh might get enough funds this financial year. Jagan is also saddened over non-allocation of any funds for the capital city Amaravati’s construction this year, apart from Rs 1,500 crore given two years ago. He told his 22 Lok Sabha members and two Rajya Sabha members to fight for the rightful allocation of funds for Andhra in the budget. Otherwise, he told them to fight with the Centre.
Same is the case with Telangana whose Chief Minister KCR submitted a detailed memorandum to the Centre, seeking national status to the Kaleswaram lift irrigation project across Godavari river, besides seeking liberal central funds for several other ongoing irrigation projects in Telangana. KCR’s MPs made a plea to the Finance Minister to allocate funds for a steel factory at Bayyaram in Khammam district. This steel factory, along with a railway wagon factory at Warangal, was promised to Telangana in the AP Reorganization Act 2014. TRS has been pressing for setting up of these two factories as part of the assurances given by the previous UPA government. The Modi-led BJP government hasn’t responded till now to these demands of TRS.
TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao responded on Friday to the budget, saying that the Modi 2.0 government has emulated some of its path-breaking schemes like Mission Bhagiratha which aimed at giving drinking water to every household in the form of “Har Ghar Jal” scheme. “However, the Centre hasn’t given us any funds for our Mission Bhagiratha,” he said.