Recently Honourable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh while speaking at a public function at Kakani made certain comments. Referring to a demand by certain individuals to furnish accounts of the state government for the expenditure done, he remarked that Central and state governments are autonomous and sovereign and that they are accountable to respective legislative institutions of Parliament and state assembly for their actions and they need not give any accounts to anyone.
He went on to add that the division of the state was done in an unscientific irrational basis and there was a lot of injustice done to Andhra Pradesh and if the state were to drift for the Injustice done in the path of Assam and Punjab, State may lose more. He also mentioned that no state formation day is being observed and instead Navanirmana Deeksha is being observed on the day of division of the state.
One of the Honourable Members of Parliament considered to be close to the Chief Minister also made a comment that divisive forces will take over if justice is not done to the State. With regard to the first remark of the Chief Minister that the accounts need not be given to individuals and private organisations, he is perfectly right in his assertion. The State government is not duty-bound to furnish any of its accounts to private individuals or organisations except to the extent whatever is covered under the RTI Act.
But the state government has a duty to furnish accounts and utilisation certificates to the Central government for all the expenditures that they incur for scheme-specific and sector-specific grants that are released by the Central government. This is part of the fundamental principles of financial discipline and no state government including Andhra Pradesh is above this. He also mentioned that the Central government and the State government are two autonomous sovereign bodies accountable to their respective legislatures. State governments are definitely autonomous but not sovereign. Even in the US which is a rigid federal structure, State governments may not have the type of sovereign powers which the Chief Minister seems to be envisaging.
The second important issue he mentioned in his address is that the State was divided in an irrational and unscientific manner because of which the interests of the state suffered. This the Chief Minister has been repeating ad infinitum for the last four years. To understand this, we may have to refer to the letter of 8th October 2006 addressed to the President of India by Chandrababu Naidu in his capacity as the president of Telugu Desam Party conveying the decision of his party in favour of formation of the separate Telangana state.
To that extent Telugu Desam is also a party to the decision for the separation of state. The issue he is referring to is not of division but one of irrational and unscientific manner in which the division was done. Here it may be pointed out neither he nor any of the Telugu Desam Party members in the parliament studied the bill and proposed suitable amendments before it was passed in the Parliament.
True when the bill was taken up in the Parliament there was not much of a discussion on the bill and it was passed amidst a lot of pandemonium. But that never prevented his party or its Members of Parliament to study the bill in advance and propose suitable amendments in writing. Having not acted at the right time to now come back and keep on harping that the division was done in an unscientific and irrational manner may lack credibility.
The other remark of the Honourable Chief Minister that the state may go the way of Punjab and Assam because of this injustice, in my opinion, is an avoidable remark. There is no comparison to the situation prevailing in Punjab and Assam and what happened in Andhra Pradesh. There was a division and undoubtedly interests of Andhra Pradesh have suffered and for that the blame needs to be apportioned to all the political parties who agreed for it if not in equal proportion in some proportion.
Further, it is not that no measures are taken and assistance given as per the provisions of the Act. Having engaged the central government for four years on this issue and at times expressing that the progress is satisfactory and now to talk in terms of the situation in Punjab and Assam is nothing but setting a dangerous agenda. These remarks do not befit a leader of his stature and experience. Remarks of the Honourable Chief Minister seen along with the remarks of an important Member of the Parliament and some noises that are being made by the party functionaries suggest an agenda which, to say the least, is not in the interests of the country.
Finally, Navanirmana Deeksha in the place of State formation Day. There is no reason even after four years to keep on making ‘beeda arupulu’ (cries of poverty) as if everything is lost and in the name of Navanirmana Deeksha keep on beating the dead horse of Congress for the ills of bifurcation. We got the state back as it was in 1953 when we divided from the Madras Presidency.
Except the city of Hyderabad and the revenue base it gives which people from all parts of the united State of Andhra Pradesh have contributed to make a mega city, nothing else is lost. It’s time to look at the positive side instead of keeping on reminding the negativities and trying to get political advantage.
I suggest to the Honourable Chief Minister to start celebrating the State Formation Day on 1st of October in the manner when the state was divided and a grand celebration was held at Kurnool in the presence of the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru. That would be right homage to be paid to those great souls Potti Sreeramulu and Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu who sacrificed their life and wealth respectively for the Andhra state as it was called then.#KhabarLive