Congress on Tuesday termed as "very significant" Sonia Gandhi's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for assistance to Seemandhra, saying the UPA government made many commitments for the residual state and now it was for the NDA to implement them.
"Our commitment is to the people of Andhra Pradesh... constructively to ensure that the promises that we made, which was passed by Parliament. This is what the letter of the Congress President said. It is a very significant letter," party leader Jairam Ramesh said. He said that Polavaram project was a commitment made by the Congress as part of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
"It was part of the Congress Working Committee resolution of July 30, 2013 also. Polavaram is a national project. There are about 50,000 families who have to be resettled. Out of 50,000 families, roughly 30,000 families are in Khammam district alone. We expect that the resettlement will be done before the project is commissioned. We expect the resettlement will be done in a humane manner. Proper compensation will be paid. Resettlement will be done in a democratic manner. No forcible relocation will take place," Ramesh said.
He said that the Congress party is fully committed to the implementation of the Polavaram Project because it will benefit both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Ramesh's statement came after Gandhi wrote to Modi urging him to implement the commitments made by the previous Congress-led government to Seemandhra which include grant of special category status to it and execution of Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project.
In her letter, Gandhi said the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, by which Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, contains various investment and other commitments by the Centre to Seemandhra region. The Congress President promised all cooperation to the Modi government in implementing these commitments.
"... The groundwork for many of them, like in the area of water resources, grant of special category status and facilitating the Polavaram project had already been laid by the erstwhile UPA government. I do hope that your administration will build on what we had accomplished and take them forward," Gandhi said in the letter dated Monday.