- Can't Say
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the Congress of creating tension between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by "spreading poison" and stirring up the youth. He assured Andhra Pradesh the Centre would fully implement the state re-organisation Act.
"The previous government (of the Congress) was in a hurry to gain political advantage and divided Andhra Pradesh, annoying the Telugu-speaking people," Modi said.
Laying the foundation stone for Andhra Pradesh's new capital Amaravati at Uddandarayunipalem village in Guntur district, Modi said his government would see that the state became the human resources capital of India.
"Our government has allotted central institutions like Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Information Technology, and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, to improve human resources in Andhra Pradesh. The start-up programme launched by the central government is being taken forward both by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Be it Andhra Pradesh or Telangana, the soul is Telugu," he said.
Modi recited Telugu poet Sri Sri's poem Nenu Saitham Prapanchagniki Samidhanokkati Aahutichchanu (I, too, have been the fuel for this great activity of building the world) to loud applause. Modi handed over the soil and water he had brought from the parliament complex and river Yamuna, respectively, to Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Union minister of urban development M Venkaiah Naidu translated Modi's speech to Telugu.
The Andhra Pradesh government has collected soil and water from 16,000 villages in the state, from pilgrimage places across the country, and from Telangana, for Amaravati's construction.
"The reason I brought soil from the people's temple (parliament) and river Yamuna is that they are sacred. And, when I handed them over to Naidu, it was like the Centre's capital being merged with Andhra Pradesh's new capital," Modi said.
To be modelled along the lines of Singapore, new capital Amaravati is expected to be spread across 16 square kilometres, catering to a population of close to 11 million.
The new capital will have an open and green space of 40 per cent. It is expected to employ around three million.
Stating that the Centre would match every step of the Andhra Pradesh government in ensuring the growth of its new capital, Modi said his government would extend its full support for the development of both the Telugu-speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. "The Naidu-Modi jodi (duo) is sure to turn everybody's dreams into reality," he said.
On Naidu's invitation, his rival and chief minister of Telangana, K Chandrashekar Rao, attended the foundation-laying ceremony and assured all help from the Telangana government for the development of the Amaravati capital.
Speaking on the occasion, Naidu said soil from Bodh Gaya and several shrines, and water from all the rivers across the country had been brought to the new capital.
"Nine cities will be created around Amaravati," he said, while thanking the farmers for giving close to 33,000 acres, for the new capital.
ALSO READ: Andhra Pradesh divided in haste: Modi