The Steel Plant proposed to be set up at Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh and Bayyaram in Telangana had come as a new bone of contention between the ruling Telugu Desam Party in the State and the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre. Though the steel plant is part of the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act, the political parties were focusing only on the special category status, while pushing the other issues to the secondary.
Now, with Telangana Congress leader Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy approaching the Supreme Court on the contentious issue, the Central government had submitted a report to the court stating that the two steel plants were not feasible. The Act only suggested that the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to give a feasible study and there was no guarantee or assurance on that. The same was submitted to the court, which also claimed that it had already informed the respective State governments four years ago.
The Central government’s report had come handy for the TDP leaders and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had directed the party leaders from Rayalaseema to take advantage of the issue. Instructed by the party chief, the TDP leaders from the region, including the MPs have launched the agitation, while others from across the State started hurling abuses at the BJP for the denial. The TDP leaders also targeted that Opposition YSR Congress for its silence.
Countering the TDP’s criticism, YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy said that the TDP was playing opportunistic politics now on the issue. He said that the Central government had informed the TDP government and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu four years ago about the steel plant and there was nothing new in the report given to the Centre. He accused the BJP and the TDP of being equal partners in denying the bifurcation benefits to the State.
The TDP is now trying to get the greater mileage from the issue and its MP C M Ramesh had come forward to go on indefinite fast. But, the TDP leaders are silent on the contents of the Central government’s report given to the Supreme Court which stated that the information was given to the respective States four years ago and one wonders why the State and the ruling TDP remained silent on the issue for the past four years.