Day before yesterday, and did not hear them, whereas I gave time and heard some MPs from other political parties. I would like to categorically state that this news item is completely wrong, baseless and untrue. The fact is that every Tuesday between 4 pm to 6 pm, Members of Parliament are welcome to come and meet me in my office in Parliament House. It is an Open House meeting where several MPs come and give me their requests, their grievances, their suggestions.
On Tuesday, when I was sitting in the Open House, I was called by the honourable Parliamentary Affairs Minister for urgent meeting. And during the period that I had left my office, some MPs had to wait till I returned back to my office. To the best of my knowledge, no Members of Parliament of Telugu Desam Party either sought an appointment with me or came to meet me on Tuesday during the Open House and, therefore, there is no question of refusing to meet or not meeting the honourable MPs of any political parties of any political party whatsoever.
During the Open House, members across the political spectrum from both Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, meet me. All party members are welcome to meet me. They meet me every Tuesday from 4 to 6 pm, barring any exceptional circumstance, if an emergency or an urgent meeting comes up, which happened last Tuesday also.
So, I would like to categorically state that there is no question of not meeting any particular party’s MPs, and I would urge all of you to please carry this message to the people of Andhra Pradesh so that there are no misunderstandings caused inadvertently or deliberately between our two parties.
Q: Sir, what is the status of railway zone?
A: I have answered this question several times, both before parliament in response to questions that have been raised and before the media that as per the AP State Reorganisation Act, the then Congress party had not provided for establishment of a zone. What they had only written was that this government will examine the feasibility of setting up a zone with its headquarters in Vishakhapatnam. So I would like to once again remind the people of Andhra Pradesh through you that the Congress never promised to create a zone in Andhra Pradesh. Certain Congress leaders are politicizing the issue. They are trying to make a virtue out of their own fallacy, out of their own mistake. If they genuinely wanted to create a zone, they should have provided in the Act itself that a zone will be created. So I squarely blame the Congress party for not having created a railway zone when they were in government, or not even having provided that a zone shall be created in the Reorganisation Act.
Having said that, the matter is under examination and an appropriate decision will be taken after considering all operational, technical, financial implications of creating such a zone as per the norms of the railways.