In all party meeting under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, YSR Congress Parliamentary Party leader V. Vijaya Sai Reddy has appealed the Central government to grant Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh during the ongoing Budget Session as per the commitment given at the time of bifurcation of the State.
Vijaya Sai Reddy said bifurcation had dealt a severe blow to the development of the State as its finances were crippled, and the COVID-19 pandemic made the situation worse. Stating that the 15th Finance Commission gave the Centre the discretionary power to confer SCS on States, he said it should be granted immediately to enable the State to overcome the crisis.
Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy also urged the Central government to take up the inter-linking of rivers as a national project, and make water allocations to the States on the basis of their geographical areas.
Water availability should be monitored with the help of telemetry once in a fortnight, he said, while insisting that the expenditure on the projects be borne by the Centre.
He also requested the Central government to immediately begin the process of shifting the Andhra Pradesh High Court from Amaravati to Kurnool in tune with the State government’s plan to foster decentralised development.He pointed out that Kurnool was chosen as the ‘Judicial capital’ of Andhra Pradesh and that Visakhapatnam and Amaravati were sought to be developed as the ‘Executive’ and ‘Legislative’ capitals respectively for balanced growth.
Raiway Zone with Visakha division
Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy raised the issue of establishing the Railway Zone with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters, and the inordinate delay in giving it a concrete shape. He wanted that an exclusive commission be set up for the welfare of farmers and steps taken to ensure minimum support price for various crops.
Attack on temples
While pointing the finger of suspicion at the TDP workers for the recent attacks on temples in the State, Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy said a policy should be formulated at the national level to firmly deal with attacks on places of worship and that the jail term for involvement in acts of desecration should be increased from two to 20 years after making an amendment to that effect to the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He also called for amendments to the IPC and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to award stringent punishment for crime against women and girls on the lines of the Disha Act brought out by the State government.