During the election campaign, a comment by Nara Lokesh that K Chandrasekhar Rao was trying to shift Machilipatnam port from Andhra to Telangana if Jaganmohan Reddy came to power, provoked much mirth. Chandrababu Naidu’s son was trolled for not knowing his geography and accused of making baseless allegations.
In its avatar as the opposition party, the Telugu Desam is convinced that the plan exists. Naidu has once again accused the Jaganmohan Reddy government of having done the groundwork to hand over the Machilipatnam port to Telangana as part of a secret deal.
The allegation has come despite Andhra Pradesh Industry minister M Goutham Reddy clarifying in the Assembly that there was no such plan. The TDP claims GO 62 was issued but was withdrawn after the TDP drew attention to it.
“TDP will not keep quiet if you try to gift away Andhra Pradesh’s assets to your friends and nexuses,” tweeted Naidu on Monday.
The government has clarified the GO was not related to the port and that the Centre’s permission is needed before such a transfer can be effected. While there were reports that the K Chandrasekhar Rao government is reportedly keen on acquiring a port for its commercial use since Telangana is a land-locked state, the Andhra government has said it will develop the port on its own if no private player came forward.
3983 acres of private and government land have been acquired by the government for developing a deepwater port and other infrastructure under the PPP mode. In February this year, Naidu had laid the foundation stone for the project.
Ever since the development of Kakinada port, Machilipatnam port (called Bandar in local parlance) has been neglected. In 2008, Maytas bagged the order to develop it but after the Satyam expose, the project fell through. It was only Naidu took over as CM in 2014 that efforts were made to revive the port project.
The TDP is trying to establish a nexus between Jagan and KCR, alleging that state’s interests are being sacrificed at the altar of personal interests. Last week, in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, Jagan had praised KCR for the manner in which he was keen to resolve inter-state disputes post bifurcation in 2014.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh