AP Governor skirts Telangana issue in address

Last Updated: Monday, February 15, 2010 - 14:22

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL
Narasimhan did not make any mention about the contentious
Telangana statehood issue in his customary address to the
State Legislature on the opening day of the Budget Session
on Monday.

Rather, he only listed out the numerous development
and welfare programmes of the state government in his 40-page
address amidst slogan-shouting by Congress and Telugu Desam
Party (TDP) members for and against the bifurcation of the
state.

TDP members hailing from Telangana boycotted the
address protesting the terms of reference of the Sri Krishna
committee appointed to go into the separate statehood issue.

A former chief of Intelligence Bureau, Narasimhan,
however, mentioned the "difficult times" in the state in the
last few months and stressed on the need for ensuring peace
and tranquility and offering "protection to the life and
property of the people."

"The state has been going through difficult times
affecting public order, pace of development and image of the
state," Narasimhan lamented.

"I fervently appeal to all of you to help in the
maintenance of peace and tranquility in the state. As Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru said, `without peace, all other dreams vanish
and are reduced to ashes`," the Governor said.

As soon as the Governor began his address, Congress
members from Telangana rose to their feet holding placards
with the slogan "We want separate Telangana state".

"They also raised ‘Jai Telangana’ slogans even as some
MLAs belonging to TDP raised slogans in support of a united
Andhra Pradesh.

Initially, the din lasted less than a minute as other
members prevailed upon their colleagues to resume their seats
even as the Governor read out his address.

But, midway through the Governor`s address, some
Congress members again raised "Jai Telangana" slogans while
the TDP members raised the "Jai Samaikya Andhra Pradesh"
(unified AP) slogans.

About 15 Congress MLAs and MLCs from Telangana
staged a walkout midway through the Governor’s address.

TDP members protested when the Governor referred to
some government schemes like Jalayagnam and mid-day meal
scheme and other welfare programmes. Congress members thumped
the desks hailing the schemes.

MLAs of the Majlis Ittehadul-e-Muslimeen too raised
slogans demanding reservation for Muslims.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu, TDP
and CPI MLAs did not attend the customary breakfast hosted by
the Legislative Council Chairman and the Assembly Speaker
ahead of the inauguration of the Budget Session.

MIM MLAs and Lok Satta Party MLA N Jayaprakash
Narayan were also conspicuous by their absence at the
breakfast meeting.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah exchanged pleasantries with
Praja Rajyam Party chief K Chiranjeevi and other MLAs present
on the occasion.

In his address, the Governor noted that the state’s
revenues grew at a rate of over 19 percent per annum during
2004-08 but fell to 10 percent in 2008-09.

"The situation in the current fiscal, as per available
indications, has been grimmer with the revenue growth further
falling to five percent between April and December 2009. But
we are exploring all possibilities to revive the economy and
increase capital expenditure to ensure that the virtuous cycle
of economic growth continues to move," Narasimhan said.

He also expressed concern over the rising food prices,
which have "severely impacted the common man, more particularly
the daily wage earners."

"Containing the prices of essential commodities has
become the biggest challenge for all the state governments in
the country. My government is, however, committed to bring
down the prices of essential commodities," the Governor said.

With the stabilization of gas production in the
Krishna-Godavari Basin, the government was hopeful of
completing the city gas distribution project in a phased
manner in the next two to three years, the Governor added.

PTI



First Published: Monday, February 15, 2010 - 14:22

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