The 25-member delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party expressed dismay that the Andhra Pradesh State government which has been often alleging that the Centre was not extending help post-bifurcation had in fact not sent the reports sought by the Union government on fund utilization.
BJP leader and former Union minister D Purandeswari said Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh had told them that unless the State government submitted proper reports the Centre cannot extend help even though it was committed to help the residuary State.
She said the delegation had submitted a report on the drought situation in the Rayalasseem region to the Union minister and has sought assistance for the drought-affected regions of the State. She said the delegation had also put pressure on the Union government to release funds to the State as per the AP Reorganization Act and grant special category status.
According to her, one delegation was led by State minister Kamineni Srinivas and the other by P Manikyala Rao. The other members of the delegation were MPs K Haribabu, Gangaraju Gokaraju, MLAs P Vishnu Kumar Raju, Akula Satyanarayana, party vice president P Kapileswaraiah, and former MLA Katasani Rambhupal Reddy.
According to Vishnu Kumar Raju, Agriculture department officials were unhappy that officials did not come forward to take fodder seed. The Centre had earmarked Rs 5 crore for the fodder. The amount also could not be released as the State failed to send utilisation certificates, the officials told the BJP delegation. BJP vice president Kapileswariah said the delegation brought to the notice of the Centre the pathetic situation in Rayalaseema.
The Centre is convinced that Rayalaseema is a special case. The Union minister assured he would send a delegation to study the drought in Rayalseema during first week of April. The Union minister reportedly told them that the government did not brief them properly about the situation. He said the Union minister further assured them that the Centre would extend MNREGS from 100 days to 150 days to prevent farm labourers from migrating.