TDP lawmakers will stage a protest in Delhi on Thursday demanding that the Centre set up a steel plant in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh, according to an official statement.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday held a meeting with TDP lawmakers and other party leaders via teleconference. They decided that a ‘dharna’ would be staged in Delhi on June 28 in support of the demand, the statement issued by Srinivas Rao, OSD to the CM, stated. Naidu and other TDP leaders also discussed the hunger strike of party MP CM Ramesh on the issue at Zilla Parishad office in Kadapa since Sunday. It was decided that the TDP would hold protests across Andhra Pradesh over the next three days in support of Ramesh’s fast, the statement stated.
“Motorcycle rallies to be held in all districts on Tuesday, dharnas in all districts on Wednesday and MPs to hold dharnas in Delhi on June 28,” it read. On June 13, the Centre, citing the Steel Authority of India’s feasibility report, told the Supreme Court that it was not “financially viable” to construct the steel plant in Kadapa. Five days later, TDP MP Ramesh wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to take steps to establish the plant.
The TDP has accused the Central government of misleading the people of Andhra Pradesh on the issue. Party MP Jay Galla said the BJP was making contradictory statements. “SAIL was asked to examine the feasibility of setting up a steel plant in Kadapa district according to the APR Act. In December 2014, it submitted that it’s not feasible. Later, when the TDP resisted and demanded that the Centre fulfil the promise made in the Act, it constituted a task force on December 7, 2016, to re-look into the issue. “The Centre, citing the old 2014 SAIL report, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, stating that a steel plant in Kadapa is not feasible. If it is genuinely interested in setting up the plant, it should have waited for the task force report,” Galla has said.
The proposed steel plant is emerging as another point of confrontation between the Centre and the TDP-ruled Andhra Pradesh. In March, the TDP pulled out of the NDA government over its refusal to grant special status to the state.