Reconsider Andhra bifurcation, Kiran Reddy asks centre
Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Friday again said he was opposed to bifurcation of the state and asked the central government to reconsider the decision. A day after postponing his visit to Delhi to meet Group of Ministers (GoM), the chief minister said the bifurcation would lead to more problems for Telangana. He also warned that Maoist problem would raise its head in both states.
Kiran Reddy was addressing a public meeting at Chodavaram in Visakhapatnam district of coastal Andhra as part of 'Racchabanda' or mass contact programme of the government. Pointing out that after all political parties favoured bifurcation, the Congress party was the last to take the decision, Kiran reddy said: "But we are opposing the decision. In fact, all people in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) are opposing it."
He said Telugu people could progress only if they remain united as with 294-member assembly and 42 Lok Sabha members Andhra Pradesh would be one of the strong states in the country. "Some people are saying Telangana will benefit from bifurcation and Seemandhra will suffer, but Telangana will suffer more than Seemandhra," he said. Kiran Reddy argued that division would lead to more expenditure and loss of revenue for both the states. He claimed that the two states would have to spend Rs.5,000 crore more on salaries for their employees and pensioners.
Pointing out that electricity consumption in Telangana was 50 percent more than the generation, he said the region would require Rs.60,000-70,000 crore on lift irrigation projects in four to five years. Kiran Reddy claimed the two states would have to double the strength of their police forces, and there would be more pressure on police forces to maintain law and order.
"At present, additional policemen are called from Seemandhra for smooth conduct of Ganesh procession in Hyderabad. Similarly, whenever there are problems in Seemandhra, police forces are rushed from Telangana. But this situation will not be there after the bifurcation," he said. The chief minister also warned the two states would face a spurt in Maoist activity. "Today, we have the Maoist problem only in Visakhapatnam (coastal Andhra) and Khammam (Telangana) districts but after bifurcation, this problem will spread," he said.
Kiran Reddy's latest remarks came as the GoM stepped up its work to prepare a report on bifurcation of the state. A draft bill for formation of Telangana state is likely to be sent to the Andhra Pradesh assembly by this month-end while the bill is likely to be tabled during the winter session of parliament next month.
The GoM summoned the chief minister to Delhi for a meeting Thursday but he postponed the visit. He is now likely to meet the GoM on Monday, when the central ministers from the state would also present their views before the ministerial panel.