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Special status: Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu questions BJP's silence
08 March 2018, 01:40 | Floyd Cook
First Thing When We Come To Power In 2019, We Will Give Andhra Pradesh Special Status: Rahul Gandhi
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the government was committed to giving the monetary equivalent to special status to Andhra Pradesh. He said the TDP's two ministers in the NDA government - Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdary - would resign on Thursday morning. TDP MLAs and MLCs on Tuesday urged Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to snap ties with the BJP-led NDA.
The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh resulted in the state losing a large part of its revenue as Hyderabad became the capital of Telangana. Jaitley's comments are being seen as arrogance and an insult to TDP and Andhra people, " a senior TDP leader and close confidant of Naidu said.
During the meeting at Amravati, Naidu is said to have called the Centre's attitude towards its demands "very disparaging and unacceptable".
Chandrababu Naidu had earlier said that the promise of special category status was the only reason for BJP-TDP alliance. Responding to criticism from the opposition quarters in the state that he was not sincerely fighting the Centre for Special Category Status (SCS) and funds for the state fearing for cases.
Naidu has blamed the Centre of not fulfiling the promises made to Andhra Pradesh under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. "However, the concept of special category status ceased to exist following the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission, which is a statutory body. We are now seeking the same benefits for Andhra Pradesh, which suffered heavily due to the bifurcation", he said. "To a further nudge from reporters about special status, Jaitley quipped, ".then why not Bihar".
The demand for special status was raised after Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated. "I told them about the people's sentiment and tried to convince them in every manner but to no avail", he said.
Arun Jaitley clarified government's stand on granting special category status and said it is provided to states which do not have adequate resources.
Clarifying the provision of tax and revenue deficit, Jaitley stated that tax concessions were already given in the first two years, along with provision for revenue deficit as per the Finance Commission.
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