CM Naidu rejects reports of bargaining for ministerial posts with BJP | Politics News

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CM Naidu (left) with PM Modi

In his meeting with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu sought the Centre’s support to rebuild his debt-ridden state, including support for reconstructing Amaravati, for the Polavaram Irrigation Project, and for allowing the state additional borrowings this financial year.

According to a Bloomberg report, the Andhra CM demanded financial support of more than Rs 1 trillion. It said Naidu has requested a substantial portion of the support to be paid from this year’s national budget.

The financial package of more than Rs 1 lakh crore, the Bloomberg report said, included raising the fiscal deficit ceiling of 3 per cent of state gross domestic product by allowing an additional 0.5 per cent of borrowing for the financial year through March 2025, which is equivalent to about Rs 7,000 crore.

The Andhra government has also sought Rs 50,000 crore to build Amaravati, Rs 12,000 crore in this financial year for the Polavaram irrigation project, Rs 15,000 crore over the next five years to clear overdue debt, and Rs 10,000 crore for infrastructure development under the federal government’s 50-year loan scheme.

According to sources, the finance minister promised Naidu that she would look into Andhra’s demands within the broader fiscal constraints.

Addressing the media, Naidu said his party was amenable to heading any coordination committee that the National Democratic Alliance might set up. “As and when needed, I am prepared. If there is any proposal from the NDA, I will think about it,” he said. Naidu was the convenor of the NDA in 2013-14. The Andhra CM said his party did not bargain for ministerial posts and its focus was the development of the state.

“We did not ask for any ministerial post from the Centre, not even during (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s time. Whatever was offered, we accepted,” he recalled, accepting the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post during the Vajpayee era to maintain good relations with the alliance.

“The party’s priority is rebuilding Andhra Pradesh, which has suffered irreparable loss in the last five years. Our aim is to rebuild the state in the next five years. The people of Andhra Pradesh have given mandate to the NDA. We will work together,” he added.

Asked about investors’ concerns about the state’s political climate, Naidu claimed that his government would “rein in the devil,” in an apparent reference to the opposition party YSR Congress Party. “Global investors are approaching us. They are concerned about the devil. We are assuring them that we will control it,” Naidu said.

Naidu said key government buildings, including a new secretariat, assembly, and high court, will be completed as soon as possible. “We will build infrastructure facilities in Amaravati,” he added, referring to the greenfield capital city project. He expressed satisfaction with the Centre’s commitment to construct 135 government buildings as part of the bifurcation act.

The chief minister also said that he will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos to invite investors, signalling his intent to personally lead Andhra Pradesh’s economic resurgence on the global stage.

First Published: Jul 05 2024 | 11:33 PM IST

Source: Latest News