NEW DELHI: YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) Parliamentary Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP V. Vijayasai Reddy appealed to the Central Government on Saturday, to declare special status for the State of Andhra Pradesh during the budget sessions of Parliament in view of the situation prevailing in the State in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at an All-Party virtual Conference chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday ahead of the budget sessions in the Parliament, he said that Andhra Pradesh has suffered financially due to the partition of the state and apart from that the State was facing severe financial difficulties when compared to other states due to the impact of the pandemic. He demanded immediate declaration of special category status to AP as the 15th Economic Commission had left the power to grant special status to the discretion of the Central Government.
Interlinking of Rivers as a National Project
Vijayasai Reddy appealed to the central government to take up interlinking of rivers as a national project. He said that the flow of water in the rivers should be monitored every 15 days with the help of telemetry process. River water should be shared and distributed based on the geographical area of the respective states. He said the central government should provide the funds for interlinking of river project.
Shift High Court to Kurnool
He brought to the notice of the Centre that the AP Government has proposed the establishment of three capitals in the hope of decentralization and balanced development of all regions and Kurnool was chosen as the Judicial Capital. Vijayasai Reddy urged the Central Government to start the process of shifting the AP High Court to Kurnool immediately.
Special Railway Zone at Visakhapatnam
The YSRCP MP said as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014, required the establishment of a special railway zone at Visakhapatnam, while continuing the Waltair Division, which is currently the centre of Visakhapatnam. He lamented that even though it was two years since the process of setting up the railway zone began, it was still being delayed.
Reservation for Women
Vijayasai Reddy demanded that the Central Government introduce an amended bill in Parliament to allow 50 per cent reservation for women in State Assemblies, councils and nominated seats in both houses of Parliament. He brought to the notice of the meeting that at present only 13 per cent of the total members of Parliament are women. He said the Andhra Pradesh government had enacted a law reserving 50 per cent seats in panchayats for women to give equal priority to women in the society.
Agricultural Sector Issues
A discounted price must be paid for all agricultural produce and he also urged the government to legalize the right of the farmer to get a discounted price whether the agricultural produce is procured by the government or by private companies.
He appealed to set up a National Farmers Commission for Farmers similar to that like the National Commission for Backward Classes, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Commission.
Adequate time should be given to regional parties in Parliament debates
The MP requested that the regional parties should be given more time to speak in parliamentary debates to highlight regional and inter-state issues and bring it to the attention of the nation. He said despite being the fourth largest party in Parliament, the time allotted to YSRCP MPs in both the houses was not enough.
Telugu Desam Party behind attacks on temples
The YSRCP leader alleged that the CCTV footage revealed that Telugu Desam Party leaders were behind the desecration of idols in a series of attacks on temples in AP recently. He said there was a need to formulate a policy at the national level to prevent attacks on temples and places of worship. He also demanded that the Indian Penal Code be amended to increase the punishment for crimes committed in places of worship from 2 years to 20 years.
National Universities in Visakhapatnam
In the wake of Visakhapatnam soon becoming the executive capital, Vijayasai Reddy appealed to the Central Government to set up Rashtriya Raksha University (internal security educational university) and National Forensic Sciences University under special Bills of National category in Visakhapatnam.
Strict laws to punish rape offenders
Vijayasai Reddy said there was an urgent need to amend the IPC and CrPC to expedite the cases of rape and assaults against women. He explained that the Disha Act brought out by the AP government allows such cases to be resolved within 21 days. He said the laws should be made stricter, so that convicts convicted in rape cases are not given parole.