The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has sorely disappointed all the political parties in Andhra Pradesh, excepting the BJP, and almost all sections of the general public as well, going by the debates on the many Telugu satellite TV channels as well as the responses emerging from different quarters.
It was widely felt that the NDA Government - led mainly by the BJP - would do justice to the state in the last Budget before the 2019 elections by making substantial allocations to major projects in the state such as Polavaram, and for the construction of the new capital Amaravati.
Announcements on the proposed new railway zone, with its headquarters in Visakhapatnam, and the construction of a second major port in the state at Dugarajapatnam in Nellore district were widely expected. Visakhapatnam is the sole major port in the state. But Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s silence on these projects and issues belied the peoples’ hopes.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is said to have given vent to his frustration in private and is holding a series of meetings with his Cabinet colleagues, party MPs and senior leaders on Thursday and Friday on how the issue should be dealt with, the last option being parting ways with the BJP.
Chalasani Srinivas, convener of the Andhra Intellectuals' Forum, has given a call to all Members of Parliament from the state to rise above party politics and fight unitedly for its rights. D. Srinivas, former MLA and senior Congress leader, has suggested that Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu go on a hunger strike immediately for two or three days "to stir the conscience of the central leadership and to register his protest".
Barring a sum of Rs 400 crore allocated for the Kotipalli-Narasapuram railway line in the two Godavari districts, and roughly Rs 250 crore for 11 central educational institutions in the state, including the IIT and IIM sanctioned during the past four years, there are no other specific allocations in the Budget.