March 26, 2019

Speaking on release of Andhra Pradesh Manifesto in Vijayawada.

Candidate from Narasaraopet Lok Sabha constituency; my senior colleague Shri Dileep Kilaru, candidate from the Lok Sabha constituency of Vijayawada where we are all assembled here today; Shri Jayaprakash Valluru Garu; candidate from the Guntur Lok Sabha constituency; Shri GVL Narsimha Rao Ji, hon’ble Member of the Rajya Sabha and national spokesperson of the BJP; Shri Ganga Raju, hon’ble Member of Parliament from Narsapuram; Shri Madhav, Member of the Legislative Council, also Floor Leader of the BJP in the Legislative Council; Dr. Kamineni Srinivas Garu, Member of the Legislative Assembly, former Minister in the state government; hon’ble Shri V. Murlidharan Ji, Member of Parliament and In-charge of the election in the state of Andhra Pradesh, our senior-most leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party Shri V. Satish Ji; National Organizing General Secretary; Shri Krishna Rao Garu, former chief secretary of the state of Andhra Pradesh and the convenor of the manifesto committee.

I have left one name for the last, because I want to introduce him to the media and the people of Andhra Pradesh also, Shri Sunil Deodhar Ji – National Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Sehprabhari of Andhra Pradesh election. Why I said I want to introduce him is because he is a committed, grassroots worker who was sent to the state of Tripura to build up the party in Tripura, to reach out to the people of Tripura, explain the policies, principles, programmes and leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party to the people of Tripura and look at the transformation that we saw in Tripura.

In the 2014 election, the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies got barely 1.36% vote in Tripura. Mind you, only 1.36% vote, and in four years time, in 2018, in the recently concluded Assembly election, the BJP and its allies increased the vote share from 1% to 51%. Today, we have more than two-third majority in Tripura. He is working here amongst all of you, Karyakartas and I just wanted you to know the background because it’s an inspirational story and it is going to be the story of Andhra Pradesh in the days to come.

Other senior leaders and dignitaries on the dais, off the dais, my very esteemed friends from the media, both electronic, print, social media, distinguished citizens, and brothers and sisters from Vijayawada, from other parts of Andhra Pradesh who have assembled here and karyakarta friends. I indeed believe it’s a privilege for me to once again come to Vijayawada. My last visit here was to explain the virtues of GST – the Goods and Services Tax – the one-nation, one-tax that Prime Minister Modi had introduced to the country. And why I am connecting the two events because just like on that day, there were lot of apprehensions about GST, which I cleared in my interaction with the people, with the business community, with the trading and manufacturers and entrepreneurs of Andhra Pradesh.

Today, I am going to take this opportunity to clear certain apprehensions and misgivings which have been falsely spread to the people of Andhra Pradesh. On that day, my brothers and sisters of Andhra Pradesh had given a lot of suggestions for further improvement, particularly from the textile sector, from the gems and jewellery sector, from the trading community, from the small entrepreneurs. And I am happy to report to you that all the suggestions that came in the meeting in Vijayawada, we have implemented fully.

Today, I have come to Vijayawada. Vijayawada is the abode of Durga Devi. It is, of course, located on the banks of the Krishna river but I am invoking the strength of Maa Durga when I am going to share with you the reality of all the work that Prime Minister Modi’s government has done for the people of Andhra Pradesh. And I am sure, Maa Durga will give me the strength to be able to convince all of you of the good work that Prime Minister Modi has done for Andhra Pradesh.

So, it is only appropriate that the bugle call for victory, Vijay, should start from Vijayawada. I still remember before the 2014 election also, we had made an announcement, of course, at that time, as partners, the TDP and BJP – we had made the announcement that an absolute majority government will be sworn in, in Delhi in 2014. Unfortunately, the partner got scared of his unpopularity and he left the alliance but the BJP stands committed to the people of India and we will once again get an absolute majority and form a government in Delhi.

The BJP always lives up to its promises. The BJP believes in a corruption-free government and the BJP believes in social justice and welfare for all sections of society – Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. And because of our courage of conviction, I have come here today to expose the falsehoods and the malicious propaganda that Chandrababu Naidu Garu has been spreading to the people of Andhra Pradesh – all the canards, the untruths, half-truths and falsehoods that he is using to hide his own failures, to hide his own corruption, to hide his own unpopularity – a taste of which he got in the election when he aligned with the Congress party. Two corrupt parties when they get together, you get a result what you saw in the last election.

The BJP never ditches its friends, the BJP works with partners together but look at the track record of the Telugu Desam Party and Chandrababu Garu. He has joined hands with the party which imposed emergency on this country and throttled all the freedom and fundamental rights of the country. I don’t think any person in Andhra Pradesh has forgotten the insult of anti-Ramarao Garu in 1984 when a duly elected government of Andhra Pradesh was dismissed by the Gandhi family whose son today is now a partner of Chandrababu Naidu Garu and they are both hugging each other, and joining hands and celebrating a new unholy alliance.

But there is nothing new in that. He had also ditched Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji’s government. He has now ditched Modi Ji’s government and he has also ditched the Congress party. I am told that now, there is no alliance with the Congress in Andhra Pradesh also. I think the reality is that he has become so unpopular because of his corruption and dynastic rule that the people of Andhra Pradesh have decided to ditch TDP and Chandrababu Naidu Garu.

The Telugu Desam Party today is reduced to a private limited company. On the one hand, indulging in huge corruption to make profit. On the other hand, all the family members have now become candidates of the Telugu Desam Party. Chandrababu Naidu Garu himself is a candidate, his son Lokesh Garu – another candidate, his brother-in-law – third candidate, his brother-in-law’s son-in-law – fourth candidate. There may be more now. I don’t know how to calculate more relations. I think the reality is they neither have leadership nor talent nor the support of the people of Andhra Pradesh and that is why today, he is running away from investigation. He is all the time scared that all the truth will come out of his corruption. He has stopped even investigations in this state. He is seeing the bogey of income tax and enforcement directorate, because he knows that all the corruption is coming out of the  cupboard.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed to the welfare of each and every citizen of Andhra Pradesh and I would like to quote from his statement in Parliament on 20th July 2018, when he said, ‘I want to assure people of Andhra Pradesh that they will not be left behind and the government will ensure their welfare and development.’ And Prime Minister Modi has worked day and night to serve the people of India. Look at the number of initiatives to serve the poor, to serve the middle-class, to serve the farmers, to serve the labour, to serve the socially and marginally and economically deprived sections of society.

To protect the dignity of our mothers, our sisters, Prime Minister Modi built 10 crore toilets free of charge, so that every citizen of India has a toilet and doesn’t have the indignity of going for toilet facility in the open. Under Ayushmann Bharat, 50 crore poor and middle-class persons – 50 crore persons will get free healthcare anywhere in the country. Under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, 12 crore farmer families – small and marginal farmers, will get Rs. 6,000 every year for years and years to come as a respect for their contribution to make India self-secure and food-secure. It is not a dole. It is a respect for our farmers.

Under Ujjwala Yojana, to protect the health of our mothers and sisters, our children who used to cook on wooden stoves and coal, we have given free LPG connection to more than 7 crore poor families. We have taken electricity to every village in this country under GARV Yojana and under Saubhagaya, we have made sure that every person who wants an electricity connection will get electricity connection free of charge anywhere in the country. Under Ujala Yojana, we have helped people with LED bulbs at prices which are 87% less than the prices before Modi government came in so that 140 crore LED bulbs have been distributed all across the country and on an investment on only Rs. 14,000 crore, one time investment of Rs. 14,000 crore, all of you, the people of India, are saving Rs. 50,000 crores every year on your electricity bills. Because Modi government does things honestly, the price of LED bulbs in India fell by 87%, but if this same scheme was to be run by the state government, I think the price would have gone up by 87%. We have introduced One Rank, One Pension – a demand of the armed forces which was pending for decades. Modi government has given respect to our armed forces. Several initiatives have been taken for a better future for our organized labour. We have increased the bonus, we have doubled the gratuity limit, we have increased minimum wages by 42%. A whole lot of support so that our workers get a better future.

For the unorganized labour, we have introduced Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan by which they will get Rs. 3,000 as contributory pension when they retire at the age of 60 years. For the middle class, we have kept on giving concessions in income tax and finally, taxable income up to Rs. 5 lakh, if anybody has, his tax has been made zero, income tax has been made zero by which 3 crore people will not be required to pay tax. In fact, if you add all the exemptions and deductions, many people with income up to 8 lakhs and 9 lakhs also their taxable income is under 5 lakhs and they will not be required to pay tax. Economic growth under the Modi government has been the highest in the last five years, compared to any other period since independence. We have had the lowest inflation in the last five years compared to any other period with the current inflation down to only two and a half percent.

Narsimha Garu, if I keep continuing like this, I think you will have to serve everybody dinner also. This government is a government of the people of India, of the people of Andhra Pradesh, and all these schemes have helped each and every citizen of this country. But I will now also show you the reality of schemes and work done specifically for Andhra Pradesh about which lot of falsehoods are being told to the people of Andhra Pradesh by Chandrababu Garu Naidu.

We will make a small presentation and I will request my colleagues if they can give a copy of the presentation to the friends from the media. After I finish the presentation, you will also get a copy of the presentation whoever has not got it. And it will show you how false and untruthful, all the malicious propaganda of Naidu Garu has been in the last one year. Naidu Garu believes in u-turn and is all the time making a u-turn in his statements. And he has continuously changed his stand.

I remember the convention of the TDP in 2017 where he had passed the resolution saying there is no difference between states having special category status and not having special category status. It means there is no difference between states having special category status and not having special category status as far as industrial incentives are concerned. Same thing in March 16, 2017, in the AP Legislative Council, Naidu Garu said by way of this special assistance, the central government has given us all the benefits that would have accrued to the state, had the special category status been awarded. Third – at the time of the no-confidence motion in parliament, on March 12th, 2017, The Hindu paper reported ‘he felt that the special package offered by the NDA government is far better than the special category status promised at the time of bifurcation.’

All these three statements are verbatim quotes of Chandrababu Naidu Garu because he knows the reality is what Modi government has done is better than if we had announced a special status to the state. This is a copy of the letter that Chandrababu Naidu Garu has written to hon’ble Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley Ji on 24th October, 2016. Here is the letter, copy is available with everybody in which I will just draw one or two lines. “I once again thank government of India for offering support and assistance to the successive state of Andhra Pradesh under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2015.” Babu Garu writes in this letter – “following the recommendation of 14th Finance Commission, the class of special category states ceases to exist.”

This is his letter, not my words. He is saying that the 14th Finance Commission said class of special category status ceases to exist. He is saying central government has agreed to give special assistance measure to Andhra Pradesh for five years which will make up for the additional central share – the state might have received if there was the category of special status. Now, the interesting part – central government did not work out the benefit and I am again quoting. Kindly hear this carefully sir, ladies. He says, “in order to operationalize the above assurance, the state government has worked out the possible grant that the state might have received in the form of additional central share, had special status been accorded to the state.” We have not worked out, state government has worked out the amount and this amount works out to Rs. 3,500 crores per year and the total amount for five years around Rs. 17,500 crores. We have not worked out, state government has worked out and I am carrying with me the full working also, if anybody is interested.

Here is the letter from the government of Andhra Pradesh. It is not on the presentation but here is the letter from government of Andhra Pradesh, Letter No. 180702 etc.. etc.. dated 5th July, 2018, in which the Principal Finance Secretary has himself worked out and given what will be the amount that will be required to make up on 90:10 basis instead of 60:40 if there was special category status.

Now, what is this working of Rs. 17,500 crores. Let’s go further. These are the details of how he wanted this Rs. 17,500 crore to be paid to the state of Andhra Pradesh. Now, it’s a little technical but I think the people of Andhra Pradesh are very smart and I want to explain what is this difference of Rs. 17,500 crores. If a state is a special category status, then the central government gives 90% of expenditure in different schemes. If it is a regular state, it gets 60% from the central government. Because the 14th Finance Commission removed the distinction between planned and non-planned assistance, what they did was they calculated the state’s expenditure on the basis of 40% – 60% coming from Centre and 40% by the state. Because of which, there was a revenue deficit that the state would have had. They would not have enough money being a new state, bifurcated from the old state. The successor state of Andhra Pradesh would not have had enough money to spend 40% on central schemes.

Therefore, they calculated this revenue deficit and gave a special Rs. 22,113 crore package which the central government would pay as revenue deficit grant to the state of Andhra Pradesh. So, if at all, they had calculated it at 90:10 and only 10% was to be spent by the state, then this revenue deficit grant would have reduced by Rs. 17,500 crore approximately, and only Rs. 5,500 crore would have come as revenue deficit grant. In fact, as soon as the Modi government came into power, we changed the terms of reference of the 14th Finance Commission as per the Reorganization Act on 2nd June 2014, so that they could provide adequate resources to the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Even after paying Rs. 22,000 crore. So, effectively what benefit came from special status is already being received by Andhra Pradesh. Even after that because Mr. Modi cares for the people of Andhra Pradesh, he agreed to give additional Rs. 17,500 crores. So, effectively, not only the benefit of special status, you are getting double benefit of special status in Andhra Pradesh because of this. So, now when he raises the demand of special category status, I don’t know what is he asking. Because if you do special category status, then you will have to reduce the revenue grant and you will not even get Rs. 17,5000 crores extra which you are getting. So, does he want to take away the benefit that Modi government is giving to the people of Andhra Pradesh?

I will go to the development projects, our actions speak louder than words. While the  Reorganization Act gave 10 years to implement several projects, we have started most of the projects within the first five years itself, giving double the funds to Andhra Pradesh than what it got in the previous five years. More than Rs. 5 lakh crore worth of projects: Road and Inland Transport – 1 lakh crore; Sagarmala – 1.64 lakh crore; Railways – 50,000 crores; CPSUs – 1.4 lakh crores; other infrastructural, industrial and educational projects – 50,000 crores. So many projects are being done in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Creating a railway zone is not a simple overnight thing – if it was as simple as that they should have written create a zone. But the Reorganization Act said you have to examine technical, operating, financial feasibility. And it’s not something that overnight one can create a zone – one has to study the entire national network and after all that examination, I am happy to say that we have now got a new zone – the South Coast Railway Zone with its headquarters at Vishakhapatnam. This will improve the opportunities for Telugu speaking people to get jobs in Railways because the Railway Recruitment Board will now have a headquarter here.

Telegu Desam and Chandrababu Naidu Garu are spreading all sorts of lies about all these various activities and each one of them we have demolished in this presentation. He is talking falsehood when he says that the Rajasthan project of refinery has better terms than the Andhra Pradesh project. Both projects have the same terms, the same rate of return and Rajasthan government is also giving viability gap funding which has been sought from Andhra Pradesh. So, any publicity that he is doing that Andhra Pradesh has more bad terms is false, exactly the same terms are there between Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

In Amravati, central government has given three and a half thousand crores but not one permanent structure has come up in the whole new city. I wonder where all that money has gone. Someone should ask for an account …. Rs 3,500 crore sanctioned, Rs. 2,500 crores already given, but not a single permanent structure and what temporary structures have come up which are leaking – Rs. 10,000 per square foot cost. Has anybody heard of Rs. 10,000 per square foot cost? All corruption.

Out of 11 educational institutions under the Act, 10 have already started functioning on temporary premises. How did Andhra Pradesh become power surplus? Because the central government supported with more coal, with special allocation from central quota of power, allowing new solar power, mega-power plants to come up. Because of all the support of central government, we were able to make Andhra Pradesh power surplus.

Look at the number of institutions going beyond the Reorganization Act that we have setup in Andhra Pradesh. All these are not part of Reorganization Act. They are all in addition to the Act. Second page – this is the second page of all new institutions not in the Act but additional. Even for metro rail, we have asked for revised proposal from the state government for Vishakhapatnam and Vijaywada-Guntoor-Tenali region – we have not yet received the same. The central government asked for an alternate site to Dugarajapatnam Port. Instead of giving us an alternate site, suddenly, they do a small foundation stone for a small port in Ramayapatnam just to make a fool of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Even for Kadapa steel plant, when we asked them to confirm availability of iron ore. Instead of confirming that, they did a Natak – another foundation stone. These are all political stunts that are being done to fool the people of Andhra Pradesh. Modi government has done so much, I want to ask what Chandrababu Naidu government has done for Andhra Pradesh other than corruption and changing the name of central government schemes like Ayushmann Bharat and calling it Chandranna Bima.

Today, in this open forum, in front of all of you and in front of the people of Andhra Pradesh through my friends from the media, I am throwing an open challenge to Chandrababu Naidu Garu. You come any day you want to Delhi. I am happy to debate with you on all these issues – open challenge.

Let the whole country and let the whole world know the reality of Andhra Pradesh and the good work that Mr. Modi has done for Andhra Pradesh. I think I have given all the details, broadly, about all the work that we have done. We are now appealing to the voters of Andhra Pradesh to take a sensible, good decision after considering all this. And vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates so that you get a clean and honest government.

Today, this nation wants a strong and decisive leadership which will protect the unity and integrity and the borders of India, specially at a time when terrorism is prevailing in large parts of the world. Only Prime Minister Modi can give a befitting reply not only by surgical strike, but also by crossing the line of control and attacking the terrorist camps.

I think the people of Andhra Pradesh will hear the sentiment here today and will give an absolute majority to the Bharatiya Janata Party and a two-third majority to the NDA so that we can do the Chowkidaari of this nation, we can save this nation.

While the main manifesto of the party will be a national manifesto and will be released in Delhi. For the state, where we are looking to change the corrupt government of Chandrababu Naidu and make a BJP honest government in the state. We have come up with our Sankalp Patra to provide social justice, and development for all the people of Andhra Pradesh. The Chairman has already given the salient features of the manifesto which will shortly be put up on the website for all of you to study and to convey to my brothers and sisters in Andhra Pradesh that the only alternative for a clean, honest, strong and decisive government is the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The victory of BJP in Andhra Pradesh will be the victory of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

बहुत-बहुत धन्यवाद. Thank you very much. All the best.

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