Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan Wednesday lashed out at the Centre for not fulfilling commitments made under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 even as he lavished praise on Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for steering the state on the path of rapid development and making it a "role model" for the country.
Addressing a joint sitting of the Andhra Legislative Council and assembly on the opening day of the budget session, he said while the state bifurcation was "imposed on us" and it inherited several problems, the "apathetic attitude" of the Centre proved even more hurting and agonising.
"On top of all, the Union government's decision not to heed to our legitimate demand of according Special Category Status to AP citing incorrect and incoherent reasons is a major setback for the state in its development pursuit," the Governor said in a hard-hitting 38-page speech.
The state re-organisation has resulted in several issues, many of them remain unresolved even today, he said, adding the bifurcation process has caused severe hardships to the people of the state as there was no rationality in bifurcation nor has it engaged stakeholders in consultations.
"This is not the first time I am uttering the hardships faced by the people of Andhra Pradesh as a result of the unwanted state bifurcation," the Governor asserted.
"The intensity of the wound is so deep and demands repetition since many of these commitments remain unfulfilled even after four-and-half years," he said.
Narasimhan noted that for a new state like AP, struggling with low per capita income and without a capital city like Hyderabad or Chennai or Bengaluru that drives the economy of the state, key issues like huge revenue deficit, skewed asset distribution, lack of research and development institutions and adoption of inconsistent criteria, have aggravated the crisis.
"It was a long wait by the people of the state, anxiously looking for the Centre to fulfil the commitments made in the AP Re-organisation Act, 2014 and other assurances made by the then prime minister.
"Countless requests made by the state to the Union government for financial and infrastructural handholding literally fell on deaf ears," the Governor lamented.
The shocking decision of the central government to take back a sum of Rs 350 crore credited to the state exchequer for taking up developmental works for the year 2017-18 in seven backward districts despite the NITI Aayog certifying the submission of Utilisation Certificates (UCs), not only disturbed the continuity of works but also destroyed the credibility of the Centre, he said.
While the state re-organisation put tremendous stress on the financial and other resources, the state government's "irrevocable commitment", diligently spearheaded by astute leadership, has helped overcome the difficulties, the Governor remarked, praising the chief minister.
"The achievements made on all fronts during the last four-and-half years, despite no support from the Centre and the manner in which the state has come out of all adversities and become a role model, is not only commendable, but is a testimony to the performance of my government," he noted.
The state's economic growth averaging at 10.66 per cent (compared to all India growth rate of 7.3 per cent), the highest in the country during this period, only points to the "spectacular performance" cutting across sectors, despite non-cooperation and lack of support from the Centre, the Governor said.
"The development journey so far was not easy and it is only due to our determination, systematic hard work, systemic improvements and solid policy framework, that the state has excelled in all areas. Had the Centre been supportive, the magnitude of achievement would have been much more," Narasimhan observed.
Governance in the state during the past four-and-half years centred around Vision, Innovation, Accountability, Digitisation, Uberisation, Convergence and Technology-driven Transformation (VIADUCT).
These concepts helped in accelerating the path of growth with "equity and a human face," he added.
"I am hopeful that the people's cooperation and strong support will continue in future for continuing the development momentum," the Governor summed up.