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Panel on post-bifurcation issues a step backward, says YSR Congress

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Shillong, July 7: YSR Congress Party said on Sunday that the decision to form a committee of officials in the meeting of the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is a “step backward” in addressing the issues arising from the state division.

 

The opposition party believes that this is a time-consuming approach.

 

A day after talks between Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his Telangana counterpart A. Revanth Reddy in Hyderabad, the YSR Congress found fault with the decisions taken.

 

The meeting had decided to constitute a committee of officials to discuss and resolve the issues arising out of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

 

Former Minister Perni Nani and former MLA G. Srikhanth Reddy said that both the state governments are aware of the disputes between the two states, the unresolved issues, assets that need to be distributed, and the cases pending in the courts.

 

“Both state governments are aware of these matters. We believe that the new committee to identify unresolved issues will only lead to further delays in resolving these matters,” they added.

 

The YSRCP leaders said that the Union government had previously constituted the Sheila Bedi Committee, led by a senior officer, to implement the provisions of the Reorganisation Act passed by Parliament.

 

“The Sheila Bedi Committee made several recommendations regarding property disputes in the combined state. Over the past decade, these recommendations have been discussed in several stages. However, some recommendations were not accepted and the recommendations which were accepted were not implemented by the Telangana government. We believe that forming a new committee will set the discussions back to the starting point,” they added.

 

The YSRCP leaders also said that former Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had told Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the meeting of the southern states’ chief ministers in Tirupati, the importance of focusing on unresolved issues, as Andhra Pradesh had seen no progress in a decade.

 

Home Minister Shah had assured that the issues would be resolved within the stipulated time frame.

 

“Following this assurance, discussions on divided issues by the chief secretaries and officials of both states gained momentum under the auspices of the Union Home Ministry. We believe that forming a new committee without focusing on advancing these discussions will only result in further delays,” they said.

 

They added that forming a committee without the Union government’s participation raises many questions, given that Parliament enacted the Bifurcation Act and it is the Union government that must implement it.

 

They claimed that the previous YSRCP government put pressure on the Union government regarding the electricity dues of nearly Rs 7,000 crore owed to the state.

 

Instructions were issued for payment of these dues, but the case later reached the court.

 

“Andhra Pradesh is facing severe injustice, especially concerning the management of water projects. Telangana is releasing water from the left canal of Srisailam for electricity generation at will, even as the Rayalaseema region struggles. It is unjust that the meeting concluded without addressing this issue and attempting an immediate resolution,” said former Minister Perni Nani.

 

The YSRCP leaders also referred to media reports that during the Chief Ministers’ meeting, Telangana demanded a share in Andhra Pradesh’s ports and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam properties.

 

There were also reports that Andhra Pradesh was willing to return some villages to Telangana in seven mandals that were merged with Andhra Pradesh in 2014.

 

“This has caused deep concern among people across the state. The absence of any announcement from the Andhra Pradesh government, including statements from ministers or officials, is increasing public suspicion,” he added. (IANS)

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