Special status: Centre in ‘advanced’ talks with AP govt

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018

ARUN JAITLEY, Union Finance Minister

Jaitley’s assurance to Lok Sabha comes after days of protests by YSR Congress MPs

Admitting that bifurcation had been “unfair” to Andhra Pradesh, the Centre on Monday said it was at a “fairly advanced stage” of discussions with the State government on the issue of special category status, and would arrive at a solution soon.

The assurance came from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who intervened in the Lok Sabha after six days of protests by YSR Congress MPs in the Well of the House, demanding special category status (SCS) for Andhra Pradesh. Jaitley’s statement also followed Opposition pressure on the Speaker to ensure smooth functioning of the Lower House.

“The government is fully seized of this issue. In terms of revenue and finance, the division of the State has caused an element of unfairness to the State of Andhra Pradesh. We are in agreement… that it has to be compensated,” the Finance Minister said.

His intervention came after YSR Congress leader Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy reminded the government that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had promised to grant SCS to Andhra Pradesh when the State was bifurcated.

“The leaders of the then Opposition party (the BJP) Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu had pitched for a 10-yearspecial category status for the State,” Reddy said, adding that even the BJP-TDP poll manifesto said so. “They said it even in Tirupati, before Lord Venkateswara; Nellore, Rajahmundry and at Visakhapatnam. The people believed their words and voted for the BJP and the TDP,” he added.

Earlier, Rammohan Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party, said during Zero Hour that each district of Andhra Pradesh was getting a meagre ₹50 crore a year, but this amount was “peanuts and pumpkins”.

Published on August 08, 2016

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