In a rare speech in Parliament yesterday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said the government is guilty of “apathy” in initiatives to deliver basic facilities to the people of Andhra Pradesh, which was bifurcated in June last year with the region of Telangana being carved out as India’s youngest state.
“Nine months have gone by and they (people of Andhra Pradesh) are beginning to feel they have been taken for granted,” Mrs Gandhi said, adding, she has written to the Prime Minister twice “requesting him to speed up implementation of commitments” that were made through the Act that endorsed the division of the state.
Minister Venkaiah Naidu retorted that he was pleased that “after nine years” of being in power, the Congress was demonstrating sensitivity to the needs of Andhra Pradesh.
In 2009, it was the Congress-led coalition government that made a surprise announcement committing to the creation of Telangana as a new state. However, the massive backlash that followed in the rest of Andhra Pradesh forced the decision into suspension, and the Congress was rudely punished last year as it was voted out of power in Andhra Pradesh.
K Chandrasekhar Rao, who fronted a long campaign for a Telangana state, was elected the Chief Minister of the new state. N. Chandrababu Naidu, whose party is a member of the PM’s coalition government, returned after a decade as the head of Andhra Pradesh.