Chandrababu Naidu rebuts Pawan Kalyan’s charges on Polavaram

Ch RS Sarma Vijayawada | Updated on March 20, 2018 Published on March 20, 2018

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu (left), Janasena leader Pawan Kalyan   -  BY ARRANGEMENT

VIJAYAWADA (ANDHRA PRADESH) 16/03/2018: Jana Sena Party President Pawan Kalyan addressing a press conference in Vijayawada on Friday. CPI State Secretary K. Ramakrishna and CPI (M) State Secretary P. Madhu are also seen.. Photo: V RAJU   -  THE HINDU

‘Centre to bear cost of rehabilitation’


Rebutting allegations made by cine star and Janasena leader Pawan Kalyan on corruption in executing Polavaram mega irrigation project, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu asserted in the State Assembly on Tuesday that there was absolutely no truth in them and Janasena leader should get his facts right first.

He said, “The contract for the project was awarded by the Congress government even before the Telugu Desam government assumed charge in 2014 and the recent decision to appoint Navayuga Engineering Company as a sub-contractor was taken after thorough consultations with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to expedite the works. I did not do it for my selfish ends as alleged.”

Rehab package

He said there was also no truth in the charge that he had agreed to bear the relief and rehabilitation package cost of the project and on that condition the State government had undertaken to execute the project, which was declared a national project in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

“I wonder where he is getting the information from. Is he dreaming or is he being misled by somebody?” asked the Chief Minister, taking a dig at his former ally, the BJP, as well.

He said that according to 2013 rates, the cost of the R & R package had shot up to ₹33,000 crore and it was specifically stated in the Act as well as the Union Cabinet resolution passed by the then UPA government that the Centre would bear the entire cost of the project, barring the power project component, and also excluding the amount that had already been spent on the project by the State government before 2014. “When the facts are so crystal clear, whom is he seeking to confuse?” Naidu asked. The Chief Minister also clarified that he had not shown any extra enthusiasm in taking up the project for his selfish ends, as alleged by Pawan Kalyan, but the Centre had asked the State to execute it, on the recommendation of Niti Aayog, in order to expedite the work.

YSR Congress charge

YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy has squarely blamed Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for the crisis in the State and alleged that the CM’s vacillating stand on the issue of special category status has cost the State dear.

He was speaking in Guntur district on Tuesday during his ‘padayatra’. He said the CM had earlier in 2016 accepted the special package offered in lieu of the promised special category status by the Centre. “In fact, the CM had said then that the special category status was not a panacea for all the problems faced by the State and the special package was better than SCS. How can he now explain his volte-face?” he asked. He said the CM, boasting of more than four decades experience in the political field, had lost all credibility and moral authority to govern the State. He said his party had been consistently fighting for the SCS for the past four years and also insisting on the implementation of the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, and “now belatedly, and with selfish motives, the Chief Minister is trying to hijack our agenda,” he added.

Earlier, the Chief Minister made an elaborate statement on the industrialisation of the State in recent years and the progress achieved in the agricultural sector. He said 533 units had been set up in the State in recent times, entailing investment of nearly ₹30,000 crore, generating 2.64 lakh jobs.

Published on March 20, 2018
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