Centre hints at bestowing special category status to Andhra Pradesh?

Jaitley says government is at a “fairly advanced stage” of discussions with the Andhra Pradesh CM

Published: 09th August 2016 05:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2016 05:05 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: AS protests continued in the Lok Sabha over the granting of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, the Centre on Monday said that it was at a “fairly advanced stage” of discussions with the state government and a solution was imminent.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also admitted that at the time of division of the state, the issue of revenue and finances had 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,” he said.

Members of the YSR Congress had been protesting in the house since the day began with many trooping into the well of the house shouting slogans like “we want justice”.

YSR Congress leader Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy said 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,” Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy said.

He 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 the five crore people of Andhra Pradesh,” he said. Reddy said. “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.

On his part, TDP’s Rammohan Naidu said every district of Andhra Pradesh was getting a meagre Rs 50 crore per year, but this amount was “peanuts and pumpkins”.

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