Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh government advisor (public affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy on Tuesday said the TDP has no right to criticize the state government for the increasing fuel prices as the TDP government, during its rule, had increased petrol and diesel prices in 2015 where there was no such crisis like COVID-19.

He said in 2015, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu had levied additional taxes on petrol and diesel by charging an additional Rs. 4 without giving any proper reason or explanation for the hike. Mr. Naidu and other TDP leaders calling for a protest in the state against the increasing fuel prices is ridiculous as the prices are under the control of the Centre and the state has no role, he added.

Further, he recalled that the previous government had increased the RTC charges four times in two years. Mr. Sajjala said that Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy did not put any burden on the public despite the fall in revenue and severe economic crisis due to the pandemic. Roads that were neglected during Chandrababu Naidu's regime have been repaired by the YSRCP government and for that Re. 1 is being charged on petrol and diesel prices, he explained.

Responding to the Amara Raja company leaving the state due to government harassment, he said the company is emitting toxic chemicals causing pollution and damaging both human lives and the environment. He said that the High Court and the Pollution Control Board have also issued orders in this regard as they pose a threat and nothing is more important to the government than the health of the people. The Chief Minister intends to have industries that do not harm the people and are safe for the environment, he said.

Speaking about the state's finances, Mr. Sajjala said there was a severe financial crisis in the state which was caused by Mr. Naidu's debts and COVID-19. The government is not holding back any welfare schemes for the poor despite the crisis and there is nothing wrong in continuing these schemes, he said, while questioning BJP leaders if they want to stop the welfare schemes and how it can be wastage when it is being credited directly into the beneficiaries' accounts. Stating that the Centre is also taking loans to provide welfare schemes, he asked how it could be wrong when the state government takes loans.

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