Rajya Sabha

July 24, 2018

Derek O’Brien speaks during a Short Duration Discussion on Andhra Pradesh Re-Organisation Act, 2014

Derek O’Brien speaks during a Short Duration Discussion on Andhra Pradesh Re-Organisation Act, 2014


Sir, The Andhra Pradesh Re-Organisation Act, 2014, which we are discussing today, and we heard lots of speakers – there is a big word beyond the Andhra Pradesh Re-Organisation Act in the discussion today, and I am going to try to focus on the word. Implementation. Without going into nitty-gritties, I think the experts from Andhra Pradesh have spoken in detail about the implementation. For understanding the importance of today’s debate we have to go back to 1989. This government of the BJP had an old alliance partner for 30 years, ie, the Shiv Sena. How is the Shiv Sena relevant to today’s debate? I will tell you, Sir. The Shiv Sena and BJP go back 29 years and today the Shiv Sena is also not with them on the way the AP Act has been implemented.

We know what happened in the other House, I don’t want to discuss it, but the the Shiv Sena is on record. And I want the BJP to reflect as to why somebody who has been with them for 29 years, through thick and through thin, is questioning them and is not standing beside them. It is a very old relationship which I am sure the BJP and the Shiv Sena treasure.

The second insight into this discussion, and we need to be political – the Shiv Sena was your biggest ally in 2014 with 20-odd seats in the Lok Sabha, your second largest ally in the Lok Sabha today. They are expressing themselves here – and we all know they brought the No-Confidence Motion there with the TDP. Why? The Shiv Sena were with you for 29 years, the TDP were with you for 1,510 days. These are the questions the conscience of the BJP, if they have one, needs to answer.

That brings me to the issue of implementation. We heard the Telugu bidda making his speech here. And I’d only wished the BJP could field one MP because he’s a Telugu bidda, and I wish him well in this House as a new Member – it is another matter that his Aadhaar card is from Delhi and he is an MP from UP, and now he’s defending Andhra Pradesh, so you know where the heart lies. The nation is one, it is true.

I have nine points to make on implementation because the issue is not that what some political party has passed in the resolution. How have you implemented? I am not going to give you an example from Andhra Pradesh because my friends from the TDP and the other Telugu-based parties will give you the implementation. Look at the other issues, look at devolution of funds to States. What has this Government done with respect to devolution of funds to States? Look at the hard numbers, look at my State. Rs 10,000 crore is owed to Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal. The Centre has cleared Rs 4,000 crore of Sarva Siksha Mission, Rs 800 crore for the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, and there is a long list here. So my problem is not what you promised but with the implementation. You have implemented the FRBM Act that we have been asking for; we have a debt of Rs 2 lakh crore; you have not implemented Bengal Chemicals, you have not implemented the Rs 1000 crore Ghatal Master Plan. Now you are trying to shift the Hindustan Steel Works from there. You are not implementing this. Like my colleague here gave a list of the promises made by the then to-be Prime Minister, similar promises were made to the tea garden workers in Bengal. Seven tea gardens were supposed to be taken over.

My view is, or my party’s view, is this – this is an issue which is beyond Andhra Pradesh, this is an issue about implementation; the difference between making a promise and implementing. Making promises – too good BJP, marketing them – super-good BJP. Implementation is the problem. That’s why TDP and Shiv Sena today, and the rest of us in the Opposition, and the people of India, will decide very shortly, because you can make promises, you can do the marketing but you cannot implement.

I can carry on. With Alliance Air – 15 new aircrafts have come but my State has been deprived. Highways – for this year’s plan, Rs 1500 crore allocated to Bengal and we have received only Rs 153 crore. Farmers’ income is another issue in which new promises are being made. I challenge the BJP to tell me how they would double farmers’ income in 2022! Look at the BJP manifesto. What did it say in 2014? They will double farmers’ income. Now in 2018, since the elections are coming, you are saying you will do it by 2022. Come to my State. Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal will show you how it can be done in seven years. We didn’t double farmer’s income. It was Rs 90,000 per farmer family after meeting some expenses. Unfortunately we didn’t double it. Well, fortunately for the farmer, we tripled it. Tripled the farmers’ incomes.

I think this is way too broad a discussion. Today even parties like the Biju Janata Dal, who are strong federal parties, cannot support you on things like the Motor Vehicles Bill. They cannot support you when you bring No-Confidence Motions because everyone who wants federalism will oppose the BJP. That’s the bottomline. I don’t want to get into unity and diversity.

Sir, I agree with you. It is not the time for charcha, now this Government has to show us also kharcha as far as the States go, otherwise they are only giving us bhashan and we are seeing no action. But no problem, Sir, we are very patient because the people of India are patient and they are waiting for 2019.

Thank you, Sir.