New Delhi: After repeated demands from the YSR Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has spoken on the demand for special category status for Andhra Pradesh. The Central government is at a “fairly advanced stage” of discussions with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for granting special status to the state, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said in the Parliament.
In a brief intervention, finance minister Arun Jaitley also admitted that at the time of division of the state, the issue of revenue and finances has been “unfair” to Andhra Pradesh, which has to be “compensated”.
“We are at a fairly advanced stage in discussions with the Andhra Pradesh chief minister and will shortly arrive at a solution,” Jaitley said. Jaitley’s remarks came soon after YSR Congress leader Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy noted that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had promised special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
“The leaders of the then opposition party (the BJP) Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu had pitched for ten years for special category status to the state,” Reddy said, soon after he and his fellow party MPs protested in the Well on the issue.
Reddy recalled that BJP leaders at that time were saying that since they are going to come to power in the next polls, they will give special category status to Andhra Pradesh and it was included in the manifestos of both BJP and TDP.
“But injustice is being done to 5 crore people of Andhra Pradesh,” Reddy said, adding that now the BJP is talking of a special package. “If they are not fulfilling the promises, what is the sanctity of the government? It is our right to protest against the lapses of the government,” he said.
Rammohan Naidu (TDP), while participating in the Zero Hour debate, said every district of Andhra Pradesh was getting a meagre Rs 50 crore per year, but this amount was “peanuts and pumpkins”.