Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amid reports of strain in ties with the Centre, and sought the latter’s help for fulfilling promises made during the bifurcation of the state. Naidu said Andhra Pradesh continued to depend heavily on agriculture and lagged behind other south Indian states in the services sector. He said the contribution of the services sector to Andhra Pradesh’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in 2016-2017 stood at 46 per cent, whereas it was 64.64 per cent in Karnataka, 62.56 per cent in Telangana, and 56.88 per cent in Tamil Nadu. It was way behind the all India average of 53.66 per cent, Naidu said, blaming lack of urbanisation for the poor performance of the services sector. He said the contribution of the agriculture sector to Andhra Pradesh’s GSDP was 31.77 per cent, while it was just 15.34 per cent in Telangana, 11.39 per cent in Tamil Nadu, and 11.68 per cent in Karnataka. “Even in terms of per capita income we are the lowest. Due to unscientific bifurcation AP has suffered badly. Whatever we have got so far is not at all sufficient,” he told reporters.
When asked if delay in getting central aid would affect his Telugu Desam Party’s ties with NDA ally BJP, he said the Union government had TDP ministers and his dispensation in Andhra Pradesh had representatives of the saffron party. “We will consistently follow up and that is the only solution for AP, and there is no issue with the alliance.” “The PM has assured he would look into the issue,” he added.
The ties between the two NDA partners have often been frosty. The TDP has been demanding Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation in 2014 and creation of Telangana, a demand rejected outright by the Centre. The TDP recently sided with the opposition in forcing the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP and its allies do not have a majority, to refer the triple talaq bill to a select committee. The bill was passed without a hitch in the Lok Sabha where the NDA has comfortable majority.