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Andhra to set up 4,530 digital libraries at Rs 140 cr

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday directed officials to prepare and action plan to construct 4,530 digital libraries.

“Digital libraries will be setup in all the village panchayats across the state to prepare an action plan for the construction of 4,530 digital libraries,” said Reddy.

He held a review meeting on IT and digital libraries at his camp office and noted that these libraries should be useful to graduate students along with primary and secondary education.

The Chief Minister directed officials to make study material for common entrance tests available in these libraries, along with providing uninterrupted internet facility to village secretariats and rythu bharosa kendras (RBKs).

Reddy instructed officials to provide three desktops, UPS, desktop barcode printer, scanner, laser printer, software, anti-virus software, unlimited bandwidth internet along with minimum facilities in the digital libraries, including completing the construction of data centres for storage.

Similarly, he also directed officials to provide facilities such as three desktop tables, system chairs, visitor chairs, tube lights, fans, iron racks, newspapers and magazines in the digital libraries.

The state government will spend Rs 140 crore on these libraries in the first phase, which is expected to start on August 15.

Meanwhile, Reddy instructed officials to take measures to strengthen work from home (WFH) concept and provide high speed internet in villages.

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No increase in Assembly seats in AP, TS till 2026: Centre

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The Centre on Tuesday (today) made it clear in Parliament that there are no plans to increase Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana until 2026.

The AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 stipulates an increase in Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh from present 175 to 225 and in Telangana from present 119 to 153.

Though AP was bifurcated more than seven years ago as per this Act in 2014, the increase in Assembly seats did not happen.

Both AP and Telangana governments have been repeatedly requesting the Centre to increase Assembly seats for the past seven years as per AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

Congress Malkajgiri MP A Revanth Reddy raised this issue in Lok Sabha during the Question Hour today.

To this, the union minister of state for home Nityanand Rai replied, “As per Article 170(3)of the Constitution, the total number of seats in the Assembly of each State will be readjusted after the first Census 2026 is published after 2026.”

The Census 2021 was delayed across India due to Covid. The last Census 2011 was done in 2011. As per norms, Census has to be done every ten years across India and it was due in 2021.

The Centre stated that the delimitation of Assembly constituencies will be taken up across India including AP and TS based on new Census after 2026. This would mean that 2023 Assembly polls in Telangana and 2024 Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh will be held for existing seats only.

The elections for increased seats might be possible only during 2029 Assembly polls.

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Is this man behind the change in BJP leaders?

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The AP BJP, which remained sluggish and stayed in the cool confines of the offices, is now hitting the streets. The party is organising some agitation or the other these days. The leaders are taking active parts in these protests. Regardless of the response and attendance, the leaders and the cadre of the BJP are busy organising meetings.

What has changed in the AP BJP these days? If sources are to be believed, deputy national organising secretary Shiv Prakash Singh is said to be the reason behind this change. Shiv Prakash, who has taken over recently, is known to be very close to the national leadership. He is said to be the eyes and ears of Amit Shah and JP Nadda as far as the party’s organisational activities go.

From the first meeting Shiv Prakash Singh has told the BJP leaders of Andhra Pradesh to move out of the party offices. He has told them that they would be assessed on the basis of their actions on the ground. He has also kept a tab on what the leaders are doing. He is said to have told them that they should keep working on the ground regardless of the response from the people. If the organisational system is active, public support will come later, he reportedly told the party office bearers. It is because of this that the BJP leaders are now active on the streets.

Even Somu Veerraju is seen organising protests these days. Shiv Prakash Singh is said to be a tough task master and the BJP leaders are afraid that he would give adverse report against them to Amit Shah and JP Nadda. This mantra appears to have worked now. That explains why the BJP leaders are quite active these days in AP.

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Prioritise inoculating teachers: Jagan

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday directed officials to give top priority to teachers in the vaccination programme as schools are set to reopen on August 16.

Reddy held a review meeting on the prevailing coronavirus pandemic situation in the state wherein he also called for expediting the ‘Nadu Nedu’ work in hospitals within the stipulated time.

“Complete the vaccination process to teachers soon and ensure that Covid protocols are strictly followed,” said the Chief Minister.

He instructed officials to ensure that large crowds are avoided and not more than 150 people allowed to attend weddings, even as they raise awareness on Covid containment measures.

Reddy directed the same at religious events and called on people to adopt all precautions and stay alert in the coming two months.

“Conduct only RTPCR tests as they are more accurate compared to other tests andcontinue door to door surveys, testing people with symptoms and monitor 104 services regularly for uninterrupted services,” he noted.

The Chief Minister directed officials to connect village clinics with PHCs through video conference and linking them with the labs as well.

He directed health records of people to be mapped in the villages and those details should be available at village clinics through Aarogyasri cards which can be known using QR code of Aarogyasri cards.

“These details will help the doctors visiting villages as part of family doctor concept,” he said and instructed officials to complete the works of village clinics by December.

When officials informed Reddy that MLHPs who completed BSc nursing and CPCH courses will be appointed in the village clinics along with ANMs, Reddy said Asha workers should also report in the same clinics.

According to officials, 12 types of primary treatment methods, 14 types of tests and 65 types of medicines will be available at the village clinics.

Likewise, 67 types of basic medical equipment will be available, including telemedicine services.

Meanwhile, officials informed the CM that work has been started for medical colleges in Paderu, Vizianagaram, Piduguralla and Machilipatnam.

However, a couple of public interest litigations (PILs) were filed against the land parcels of Anakapalli and Nandyala medical colleges.

Similarly, the contractors are preparing to start work in Amalapuram, Rajahmundry, Palakollu, Eluru, Bapatla, Markapuram, Madanapalle, Penukonda and Adoni.

“Pay special attention to the ‘Nadu Nedu’ programme in the health sectors… prepare an action plan in this regard. Government hospitals should be on par with corporate hospitals such that government employees also should choose government hospitals over private hospitals for treatment,” the CM added.

Reddy directed officials to prepare an SOP defining ownership policies, including focusing on hospital maintenance.

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Justice NV Ramana to AP, TS: Settle Krishna water row through mediation

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Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana today (Monday) advised Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to settle Krishna water row between them through mediation and not through legal process.

The petition filed by AP government urging Supreme Court to direct Telangana government to stop hydel power generation at Srisailam project came up for hearing in Supreme Court today.

Supreme Court chief justice NV Ramana observed that confrontation between Telugu States is unnecessary.

He advised both the states to see that water row between them does not become a big problem and try to resolve the issue through talks or mediation before the situation comes out of their hands. He said the involvement of third-party in this issue is undesirable.

Justice Ramana said he belonged to both Telugu States and had earlier argued water cases of Undivided Andhra Pradesh in courts.

Justice Ramana said he will not comment on the legal issues involved in the petition filed by AP government.

He said if both the Telugu States still want to resolve this issue through legal process, he will shift the case to another bench for hearing.

AP’s lawyer Dushyant Dave told court that he will seek the opinion of AP government on this issue since the case involves political significance.

Justice Ramana adjourned the case to Wednesday.

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Why this straight-talking MLA is giving sleepless nights to YS Jagan?

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The ruling YSRCP these days is worried about MP RaghuramakrishnamRaju or even Jagan’s bête noire Chandrababu Naidu. It is more worried about an MLA from its own party. This MLA is so low profile that not even his own party leaders outside his constituency know him. He is a silent, blink-and-you-miss kind of person who has never been in the news.

This MLA is Chenna Keshava Reddy of Yemmiganuru. Though a four-time MLA, he is largely unknown because of his low profile attitude. He is not known to make comments or address press meets. But, this MLA has suddenly made comments that have sent tremors across the state. The YSRCP Is now worried that his comments might offend carefully nurtured soft Hindu and pro-Dalit image of the YSRCP.

During the recent Bakrid festival of the Muslims, Hindu organizations have strongly opposed the butchering of cows citing the anti-cow slaughter laws in the state and the country. This led to a communal clash, in which one person suffered injuries. Soon after this incident, the usually silent and non-reactive MLA called for a press conference and spoke in support of cow slaughter. He said the anti-cow slaughter laws were outdated and that they should be repealed. This has led to a state-wide furore. This was a shock to YS Jagan, who was very systematically trying to wipe off the anti-Hindu image using some swamijis.

But, he also knows that it is impossible to make Chennakeshava Reddy eat his own words. So, he kept quiet and reportedly instructed his party leaders not to comment on Chenna Keshava Reddy’s anti-cow worship comments. Last month too, Chenna Keshava Reddy criticized the Dalits for intruding into public land in the name of the construction of a church. This has angered the Dalit voters and the party is worried about this too.

It feels comments by Chenna Keshava Reddy might damage the party’s image and could hurt the carefully built image of being a soft Hindu. However, it also knows that Chenna Keshava Reddy is a tough nut to crack and it is difficult to make him retract his comments. So, it is simply waiting for the controversy to subside.

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Andhra announces Rs 3L compensation for 6 deceased Odisha labourers

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh each to six migrant labourers from Odisha, who died in Guntur district recently.

“Reddy directed the concerned officials to give Rs 3 lakh each to the deceased migrant labourers’ kin,” said an official.

The Chief Minister said the compensation should be handed over as a humanitarian gesture to the labourers’ kin, considering that they came to the state in search of livelihood.

Similarly, Reddy also instructed the concerned officials to ensure that the owners of the shrimp ponds who engaged the labourers also pay compensation to the labourers’ kin.

The six workers from Odisha were found dead near a shrimp pond in Lankavanidibba village in Guntur district on Thursday night.

The police are investigating the cause of death of the six men who were working in the shrimp ponds.

Some locals are suspecting that the workers could have died of electrocution, suspecting the power lines to have fallen on their shed. Burn injuries were also found on the bodies of the deceased workers.

The six men came to the district in search of livelihood only a few months ago.

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Andhra will emerge as tourism hub, says Deputy Speaker

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Andhra Pradesh Assembly Deputy Speaker Kona Raghupati on Saturday said the state will become a tourism hub in the future.

Raghupati made this statement after meeting Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy and requested his support for the southern state.

The Deputy Speaker requested Reddy to develop tourism potential of the state.

Raghupati also met with Food Processing Minister Paras Paswan and informed him that Andhra Pradesh is majorly an agricultural state. Following bifurcation, Raghupati noted that the 74 per cent of the population depends on agriculture for livelihood.

He requested Paswan to continue the food processing schemes.

Meanwhile, senior YSRCP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vijayasai Reddy said the state government led by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is completely transforming government schools with the Nadu-Nedu scheme.

According to Vijayasai Reddy, CAT chairman Narasimha Reddy appreciated the Nadu-Nedu scheme.

He said Narasimha Reddy personally found out the change while travelling from Tirupati to Hyderabad when he observed the schools.

Vijayasai Reddy said Narasimha Reddy called him up and gave his views on the school renovation scheme.

The Rajya Sabha MP also noted that the ruling party MPs are working hard to do their best in achieving goals of the state such as funds for Polavaram, roads, special category status, salvaging Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), railway zone and others.

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“Thieves” “stealing” away Amaravati roads?

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Thieves are on prowl in the capital Amaravati. They are not filching valuables and nor are they resorting to house-breaks. They are simply “stealing” the roads. Yes. Sounds strange, but true. In Amaravati, unidentified miscreants are using earth movers and under heavy duty equipment to damage the laid out concrete roads and take away the concrete pellets and other material.

Several videos of JCB earthmovers damaging the roads and taking away the granite chips have surfaced in villages like Uddandarayuni Palem, which falls into the Amaravati capital area. In one video, miscreants are seen taking away a JCB on a truck after the locals objected to it. It is clear that this cannot happen without the active support of powerful people. The local TDP has accused the YSRCP of damaging the roads and taking away the concrete chips.

There are also instances where the concrete chips, cement and sand kept on the sides of the road for the construction of roads were stolen. Some miscreants are landing up at the storage sites and are loading the material into the trucks. They are scooting away before the police arrived on the scene. While the TDP has blamed the ruling YSRCP for the “theft”, the YSRCP is blaming the TDP for this. The police seem to look the other way while the roads get damaged during the nights. Sources say that the police are afraid of taking action as people at high places are involved in these thefts.

In some places, the locals have formed night-watch groups and are found objecting to the damage of the roads. There are instances where the miscreants fled from the spot after the locals obstructed them. Despite such damage to public property, there is total silence from the ruling party.

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AP Theatre Industry heading for a Crisis

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy issued an ultimatum about the ticket prices and a new GO was released overnight. Along with the film fraternity, the common man was surprised with new ticket pricing in the state. The film industry tried hard to get the GO revised but it did not happen. The theatres in Telangana are reopened with 100 percent occupancy, flexible ticket pricing and parking charges are reintroduced for single screens. But in Andhra Pradesh, selected theatres are reopened with 50 percent occupancy. As there is a night curfew imposed, there is only permission to screen three shows in a day.

The footfalls on day one are pathetic. Thimmarasu received a positive response and the film picked up by evening shows. Ishq received poor response and the collections dropped down badly. AP theatre industry is currently running in huge crisis and it’s time for the government to stand as support before most of the single screens get converted into function halls and warehouses. With the night curfew extended in AP, there would be no prominent releases in August. For now, the film industry has to wait for more time to screen renowned films.

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NGT orders probe on illegal mining by YSRCP leaders in AP!

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) took a serious view of the reports being published in the media about illegal mining activities undertaken by ruling YSRCP leaders in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts.

Reports of YSRCP mining mafia looting bauxite and laterite mines in AP have created a furore in AP.

The NGT took cognizance of these reports and ordered an enquiry into the issue.

The NGT formed an inquiry committee to visit the mining sites and examine how the mining mafia violated the rules and done mining illegally.

The NGT asked the AP government to take action against violators.

It formed a committee with officials from mining and pollution control departments to probe the issue at ground level and submit a report to NGT.

The NGT asked the committee to examine how roads were laid illegally in reserve forest areas to reach mining sites and how a large number of trees were cut for the purpose.

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Megha Krishna Reddy gets TRS govt’s bounty!

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PV Krishna Reddy, popularly known as Megha Krishna Reddy, the owner of Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) is the favourite contractor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments, whichever party may be in power.

When in Opposition, TRS chief KCR and YSRCP chief YS Jagan used to lash out at the ruling parties in respective states of colluding with Megha Krishna Reddy and looting thousands of crores of rupees of public money by awarding all major contractors to Megha group.

But after KCR, Jagan became CMs, they too are awarding all the major contracts to Megha group.

KCR awarded Rs 1 lakh crore Kaleshwaram project contract and Rs 40,000 crore Mission Bhagiratha contract to Megha.

Similarly, Jagan awarded Polavaram contract to Megha.

Now, Megha group got yet another bounty from TRS government.

CM KCR approved doubling of project estimates of Mission Bhagiratha project to Megha group.

Earlier, a segment of Mission Bhagiratha work at Mallannasagar project was awarded to Megha for Rs 674 crore in January 2020.

But KCR has now approved the revision of work estimates to Rs 1,212 crore, which is almost double the original estimate raising questions over what could be the reasons for doubling estimates within 16 months.

This led to severe criticism from Opposition parties which are accusing KCR of taking huge commissions from Megha Group to award contracts as well as enhancing work estimates indiscriminately.

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TDP leaders not shocked by arrests anymore!!

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After initial hesitancy, the TDP leaders are now mentally prepared to go to jail and spend their time behind the bars. The initial shock is gone and they are now preparing to brave arrests. Political analysts feel this fighting spirit is a welcome development.

In the last two years, several TDP biggies have been arrested. First it was Atchen Naidu, later it was Kollu Ravindra. Senior leader like Dhulipalla Narendra, former Whip Kuna Ravikumar, ex-MLAs Chintamaneni Prabhakar, BC Janardhan Reddy, Nallamilli Ramakrishna Reddy, JC Prabhakar Reddy, MLC BTech Ravi were arrested on some pretext or the other. Former ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Nimmakayala China Rajappa and Ayyanna Patrudu have all been booked in various cases. Many of these cases are of very minor nature. For instance, both Yanamala and China Rajappa were booked for attending a wedding. Ditto with BTch Ravi.

Initially, the TDP leaders, who have never visited jails, were apprehensive, but now most leaders are getting used to the repression. They are now adjusting to the new reality and feel that a short stint in prison may be inevitable to fight the larger battle against the YSRCP rule. Hence the shock and surprise element of the arrest is slowly vanishing among the TDP leaders.

In fact, Devineni Uma has been daring the YSRCP to arrest him for the past two years. On many occasions, he has challenged the government. In fact, on one occasion, he even staged a sit-in in Gollapudi and asked the government to arrest him. Incidentally, he has not been arrested in connection with the functioning of his ministry and the awarding of the contracts in the irrigation department. Finally, he was arrested in connection with a petty incident. This only shows that the YSRCP is bent on putting TDP stalwarts in prison on some pretext or the other.

The shock and awe seen during Atchen Naidu’s arrest was not seen during Uma’s arrest. He looked brave and strong in the face of an arrest. The TDP leaders are increasingly getting ready to battle it out. This will only portray the YSRCP in bad light and the TDP would end up getting sympathy, analysts feel.

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Jagan transfers Rs 693cr to mothers of students!

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy today (Thursday) transferred Rs 694 crore to the bank accounts of mothers of students under Jagananna Vidya Deevena scheme.

Jagan government is paying Rs 20,000 to each student per year to pursue degree and engineering courses in AP.

The government released first installment of Rs 671crore in April this year.

Second installment was released today.

Third installment will be released in December and last installment in February 2022.

Jagan said despite severe financial crisis due to Covid, he is committed to implement these welfare schemes for the benefit of poor.

Jagan said poverty can be overcome only through education and his government will ensure higher education for free for poor students in AP.

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Why this YSRCP leader wants to rejoin TDP?

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This political family which for decades played a key role in Anantapuram politics, now finds itself on a political crossroad. It left the TDP for greener pastures and joined the YSRCP. But, things are not going their way in the YSRCP. Now the political family is seriously thinking of going back to the TDP.

We are talking about Singanamala former MLA P Samanthakamani and her daughter Yamini Bala. Samanthakamani is a popular leader from the Dalit community and has been a staunch supporter of Chandrababu Naidu and the BJP. The TDP too recognised her and rewarded with several key positions in the government.

In 2014, Chandrababu Naidu gave the party ticket from Singanamala to Samanthakamani’s daughter Yamini Bala.. She had won and Chandrababu amply rewarded her with the Whip post. But, Yamini Bala angled for a minister’s post. Meanwhile, she began encouraging groupism in the party and an annoyed Chandrababu gave the Singanamala ticket to Bandaru Sravani in 2019. Sravani lost badly due to the pro-YSRCP wave in the state and YSRCP candidate Jonnalagadda Padmavathi has won handsomely. In the later developments, both Samanthakamai and Yamini Bala joined the YSRCP. While Samanthakamani has retired from politics, Yamini Bala has at least 15-20 years of active politics.

However, this euphoria did not last long and Yamini Bala found herself out of place in the YSRCP. Also, no assurance was given to her about her future. Recently, Yamini Bala recently held a meeting with her supporters where most of her backers wanted her to rejoin the TDP. They also regretted her decision to join the YSRCP. They pointed out that she might not get a YSRCP ticket as sitting MLA Jonnalagadda Padmavathi is Jagan’s favourite. If sources are to be believed, even Yamini Bala is actively considering joining the TDP. Let’s wait and watch how things unfold in Singanamala.

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Will Devineni Uma’s arrest hit Vasantha Krishna Prasad’s popularity?

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While it was long expected that Devineni Umamaheshwara Rao would be the next TDP leader to be arrested after Kollu Ravindra and Dhulipalla Narendra, it appears his arrest is fast proving counter-productive for the YSRCP. There is a groundswell of sympathy for Devineni as he was booked for murder while he was sitting in his car.

Devineni Uma was arrested on charges of attempt to murder after a case was booked against him in G Konduru police station. But as the news spread of his arrest, sympathy for him is reportedly growing in Mylavaram assembly constituency. His political rival and YSRCP MLA Vasantha Krishnaprasad is now in fix. In fact, Vasantha Krishna Prasad had said a year ago that he would put Devineni Uma behind the bars. These words are now coming back to haunt him.

Vasantha Krishna Prasad is now being blamed for the arrest. Interestingly, both Devineni and Vasantha hail from the same social community and there a lot of sympathy for Devineni in general and in the community in particular. Anger is also said to be building against Vasantha Krishna Prasad as he is staying away from the constituency unlike Devineni Uma, who was always accessible. He has not taken up developmental works as planned,according to the locals. Due to this, there is already resentment against Vasantha Krishna Prasad. He reportedly stays away from the assembly constituency and this too has contributed to his unpopularity..

Vasantha comes from the illustrious political family of Vasantha Nageswara Rao., who was the home minister during the TDP rule and represented Nandigama several times. His son Krishna Prasad had joined the YSRCP and has won from Mylavaram defeating Devineni Uma. Devineni too is from a well-known family. His elder brother Ramana was a minister He had passed away in a train accident.

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Vested interests behind ‘excess borrowing’ narrative: Andhra

In wake of criticism over the state’s alleged excess borrowing, the Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday accused “vested interests” of carrying out a “misinformation campaign”.

“This is essentially to tarnish the image of the state and thereby cripple the state financially to reap political gains,” an official statement said.

According to the YSRCP government, attempts are being made to create widespread concern amongst the Reserve Bank of India, the Central government, banks and financial institutions, Parliament and the public.

“Did all the liabilities of AP government rise exclusively by the actions of the current government.

“Absolutely not! The erstwhile state of AP was bifurcated in 2014 and this has resulted in the economic deprivation of the state of AP,” it said in the statement.

The government said per capita revenue of Rs 8,979 for Andhra, compared to Telangana’s Rs 15,454 at the end of the first full financial year post bifurcation in 2015-16, is telling of the southern state’s distress.

“Further, all the commitments made to the state on the occasion of the bifurcation have not yet been fulfilled,” it noted.

It pointed a finger at the alleged extravagance of the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government.

“Added to this problem, the misgovernance and expenditure profligacy of the TDP government has resulted in the undue swelling of the liabilities of the state of AP,” it claimed

It said the combined debt of united Andhra Pradesh assigned to the successor state at the time of bifurcation was Rs 97,123 crore, which rose to Rs 1.2 lakh crore on adding the public account share.

“The same has over the five years (2014-19) increased to Rs 2.68 lakh crore. The story does not end here,” it added.

On Monday, BJP Rajya Sabha member G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said he met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and discussed the “excessive borrowing” by the state government in violation of financial norms.

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Andhra MPs seek Rs 6,750 cr pending funds from Centre

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Senior YSRCP leader V. Vijayasai Reddy on Tuesday met Union Panchayat Raj Minister Giriraj Singh and appealed for the release of Rs 6,750 crore funds due to the state.

“A delegation of YSRCP MPs met Giriraj Singh and requested him to release Rs 6,750 crore due to the state,” said Reddy, who led the delegation.

He said these funds are due under the MNREGA programme.

Reddy was accompanied by party MPs Margani Bharat, Mithun Reddy and Mopidevi Venkataramana, among others.

The delegation also met Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, and requested him to complete the road development work on the Sabbavaram-Narsipatnam-Tuni stretch in the southern state.

Meanwhile, Reddy noted that the state government is offering laptops to the poor students under the Jagananna Vasati Devena scheme.

He said the laptops will be given under basic and advanced categories.

“In case there are any defects with them, a complaint in the village and ward secretariats will resolve the issue in a week’s time,” he said.

Reddy further said that the laptop distribution is aimed at guiding the poor students pursuing higher education into the digital era, which has been decided by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

He said the higher education department has already issued directives to this effect.

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Andhra to set up 2 multi-modal logistics parks

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Andhra Pradesh Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy on Tuesday said, two multi-modal logistics parks will be set up in the state.

The logistics parks are expected to come up in about 100 acres of land near Krishnapatnam and Kakinada ports.

The industries department is looking at PPP route to build the parks in Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) lands.

Reddy reviewed the progress on Tuesday along with senior officials at the secretariat and stated that a special logistics policy will be issued for the year 2021 soon.

The minister said the government is currently working on the logistics policy, taking into consideration the policies of Singapore-like countries.

“On the lines of ease of doing business, we will work out ease of doing logistics,” Reddy noted.

As part of creating an authority at the Central level, the minister said orders have already been given to make the chief secretary as the chairman for SLCC.

He noted that for logistics to thrive, freight carriers are crucial for minor and major ports, cold storages and warehouses.

Similarly, the department is also considering building truck parking bays in five acres of land parcels near state highways and national highways.

These parking bays are expected to be equipped with refuelling stations, parking slots, dhabas (F&B outlets) and drivers resting rooms.

Meanwhile, industries department director informed the major problems being faced by businessmen and manufacturers.

Likewise, there were also proposals to set up an integrated command control centre.

The industries ministry is also working towards raising the capacity of goods transportation from the ports, including raising it to 70 per cent from 50 per cent by 2026 at non-major ports.

Reddy inquired about the progress made on the plans to set up the petroleum complex with officials who returned from Delhi recently.

Considering the recent shuffling of ministers at the Centre, Reddy is expected to visit Delhi again to meet them.

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BJP undertakes ‘Chalo Proddaturu’ to oppose Tipu Sultan statue

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Andhra Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Somu Veerraju on Tuesday undertook the ‘Chalo Proddaturu’ agitation programme to protest against the plan to install the statue of Tipu Sultan. Proddaturu is a town in YSR Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh.

“I am taking my first step to end the anti-Hindu sentiment of the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP),” alleged Veerraju.

He claimed that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is making his MLAs and ministers to work with anti-Hindu sentiment.

Veerraju and several other saffron party leaders staged a sit-in to protest against the plans to install Tipu Sultan’s statue.

According to the BJP president, Sultan was a ‘barbarian with maniacal communalism who massacred thousands of Hindus’.

“He (Sultan) enabled rapes, demolished temples, resorted to forced conversions,” claimed Veerraju.

The opposition leader alleged that Reddy was supporting the setting up of a statue of the controversial figure like Sultan.

Veerraju has taken up Chalo Proddaturu, as part of the temple tour programme across the state, aimed at protecting them amid alleged attacks over the past months.

Under this programme on Monday, Veerraju visited Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple at Ekasila Nagari where Ram, Lakshman and Sita images were sculpted on a monolith rock.

He also visited Srisailam and delivered speeches on protecting temples.

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