For KTR, Andhra CM Naidu is a success story: Why Centre’s nod to petrochemical complex is TDP’s win

The BPCL agreed to invest up to ₹50,000 crore to ₹75,000 crore for the location of two facilities in Andhra Pradesh.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jul 11, 2024 | 3:55 PM Updated Jul 11, 2024 | 3:55 PM

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu meeting with BPCL officials. (X)

An issue that has been hanging fire for the last 10 years and was guaranteed to Andhra Pradesh by the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Act — refinery and petrochemical complex — is all set to become a reality now.

And, it is quite interesting to watch how fast the NDA government at the Centre is acting on requests from its coalition partners.

The Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) agreed to invest up to ₹50,000 crore to ₹75,000 crore for the location of two facilities in Andhra Pradesh.

The company indicated that they may scale up the investment to ₹1 lakh crore in future.

Also Read: Naidu blames YSRCP for Andhra’s ₹1.29 lakh crore power sector loss

BPCL delegation meets chief minister

A delegation of the BPCL representatives, led by its Chairman and Managing Director G Krishna Kumar, called on Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday, 10 July, and submitted to him that they would require about 4,000 to 5,000 acres of land to set up oil refinery and petrochemical complex.

During his recent visit to Delhi, the chief minister, among other things, requested this effect from the Prime Minister, and now, the BPCL officials came calling on Naidu, with a proposal for the project.

The BPCL’s immediate response is attributed to the important role that Naidu plays in the NDA coalition with his 16 MPs who are crucial for the continuance of the government.

This is the only explanation that could be found for such an immediate response from the Union government for a commitment that was made to the state about 10 years ago.

The BJP, it is felt, may have taken it easy, had it secured a majority in Lok Sabha on its own as it did in 2014 and 2019.

KTR bats for regional parties

BRS working president and former minister KT Rama Rao (KTR) in a recent post on X, said if a regional party has representation in Lok Sabha, it could get what is due to the state which was evidenced by Naidu being able to get what his state wanted.

KTR wanted people of Telangana to take a cue from TDP.

He said: “This is how you get your way in Delhi. By voting for strong regional parties which can deliver the goods. I hope people of Telangana are watching closely.”

He followed it with a comment on Telugu which when translated says Telangana should have its own political identity which alone can protect it.

KTR referred to the Bloomberg report that Naidu had sought a mindboggling $12 billion aid from the entre to get the state back on the rails, but it equally is relevant to Naidu swinging in the refinery and petrochemical project for the state.

Also Read: Andhra, Telangana agree on three-tier approach to address bifurcation issues

‘Due to lost majority and ego’

After the news wafted through the media, Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh posted a message on X and claimed that the feasibility study was initiated since the Modi government “lost its majority and his ego”.

“An oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Andhra Pradesh was originally a commitment made by Dr. Manmohan Singh’s Government in the Thirteenth Schedule of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014. In fact, the ek tihai (first of the third) Pradhan Mantri’s Government was legally obliged to deliver the project within the last ten years, and IOC/HPCL were obliged to examine the feasibility of the project within six months. The ek tihai  Pradhan Mantri’s Government, after failing to move for 10 years, has only initiated the feasibility study now,” Ramesh wrote.

“This lackadaisical pace of implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act was one of the reasons why Chandrababu Naidu Garu famously withdrew from the NDA in 2018. Perhaps now that the ek tihai Pradhan Mantri has lost his majority and his ego, we can expect rapid implementation of the Act,” he added.

To allot land wherever necessary

Though it has not yet been decided where these two projects would come up, Chandrababu Naidu nonetheless made a commitment to the BPCL delegation that he was ready to allot the land required wherever it might be once the central public sector undertaking firms up its proposal and returns to the state government.

According to an official statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), Naidu asked the delegating to come back to him with a feasibility report within the next three months to which he got a positive response.

In a statement later, state Industries Minister TG Bharat said that the BPCL delegation had consented to invest up to ₹50,000 crore to ₹75,000 crore in Andhra Pradesh which they may increase to ₹1 lakh crore.

The BPCL team will visit three places in the state for the location of the refinery and petrochemical complex.

When they come up with a feasibility report they would indicate which place is suitable for locating the two facilities.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)

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