Are TDP leaders clear about three capitals, asks Muttamsetti

‘Visakhapatnam has all the trappings to become the Executive Capital’

Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao on Monday questioned the intentions of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders from the North Andhra districts on the development of the region, especially Visakhapatnam city.

“It does not appear that the TDP leaders are interested in the development of North Andhra region, as they are opposing the move to make Visakhapatnam as the Executive Capital of the State. First, they should make themselves clear with the people of the region and the higher-ups in the party on what they really want,” he told the media here.

Reiterating that Visakhapatnam has all the trappings to become the Executive Capital, the Minister said that the government’s move would ensure all-round development of the region, including employment generation.

On one hand, the TDP leaders are creating stumbling blocks for the development and on the other, they are silent on the pressing issues such as privatisation of the VSP, funding for the Polavaram project and status of the railway zone in Visakhapatnam, said Mr. Srinivasa Rao, adding that the TDP had no moral right to comment about the development of North Andhra as they had done nothing on this front during their tenure.

“Almost every leader visited the Uddanam area in Srikakulam district, but did nothing for the people suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) since decades. But, the YSRCP after coming to power has sanctioned one super-speciality hospital and the work is on,” he said.

The government, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said, had sanctioned medical colleges for Anakapalle, Vizianagaram and Paderu and allotted ₹500 crore for each. The government schools had been developed under the Nadu-Nedu scheme, he said.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao criticised TDP leader P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju for his comments on Simhachalam Devasthanam’s land. “Being the chairperson of the temple trust board, how can he (Mr. Gajapathi Raju) say that he has no knowledge about records pertaining to 800 acres of temple land has gone missing,” he said.

VSP privatisation

Responding to TDP’s criticism on the sale of 10% of the State government’s share in the Gangavaram Port Limited to the Adani group, he said, “In the last five years, the State government had earned only ₹80 crore from its share, not a single penny as dividend. So there is no point in retaining it.”

Answering a query as to why the YSRCP MPs were not resigning on the VSP privatisation issue, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said, “It is better to be as MPs and fight for the cause. Resigning will not give us leverage as the BJP has absolute majority in the Parliament.”

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