5:16 pm - Tuesday May 23, 6197

Implement Seemandhra agenda: Sonia to Modi

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New Delhi : UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to implement the commitments made by the previous Congress-led government to Seemandhra, which include grant of special category status to it and execution of Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project.

She said, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, by which Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, contains various investment and other commitments by the government of India to Seemandhra region.

The Congress president promised all cooperation to the Modi government in implementing these commitments.

“….The groundwork for many of them, like in the area of water resources, grant of special category status and facilitating the Polavaram project had already been laid by the erstwhile UPA government. I do hope that your administration will build on what we had accomplished and take them forward,” Gandhi said in the letter dated on Monday.

She noted that the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had also made certain further commitments on the floor of the Rajya Sabha on February 20, 2014 on which the Union Cabinet had taken certain decisions.

In the letter, she also attached a note giving details of the commitments made by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

“As President of Indian National Congress whose coalition government drafted the Reorganisation Act and got it passed through parliament, I assure you of our cooperation in ensuring that the commitments made to the people of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh are fulfilled both in letter and spirit,” Gandhi added.

Meanwhile, Congress has termed as “very significant” Sonia’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for assistance to Seemandhra, saying the UPA government made many commitments for the residual state and now it was for the NDA to implement them. “Our commitment is to the people of Andhra Pradesh… constructively to ensure that the promises that we made, which was passed by Parliament. This is what the letter of the Congress President said. It is a very significant letter,” party leader Jairam Ramesh said.

He said that Polavaram project was a commitment made by the Congress as part of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. “It was part of the Congress Working Committee resolution of July 30, 2013 also. Polavaram is a national project. There are about 50,000 families who have to be resettled. Out of 50,000 families, roughly 30,000 families are in Khammam district alone. We expect that the resettlement will be done before the project is commissioned.

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