VIJAYAWADA: Throwing cold water on chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu's hopes, Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday repeated the old refrain that special category status (SCS) cannot be a sanjeevani or panacea for all ills though it might benefit the state in some ways.
Venkaiah Naidu, speaking to mediapersons at the Swarna Bharat Trust at Atkuru near here, pointed out that even though the Centre does want to accord special status to Andhra Pradesh, it is easier said than done since nine other states are also seeking it. "They supported the demand in Rajya Sabha hoping that they too could press for special category status," Venkaiah Naidu said.
The Union minister was echoing what Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Chandrabbau Naidu when the latter met him in Delhi last week but Naidu told the chief minister that he would do justice to Andhra Pradesh, without specifically telling him whether he would resolve the problem by initiating a dialogue with the other states. Now with Venkaiah Naidu repeating what Modi told Chandrababu Naidu has set off speculation that SCS would remain a pie in the sky. Venkaiah Naidu, on the other hand, drew the attention of the state government to the commitment the Centre has made in helping it financially.
"There was a dilemma over granting SCS after the 14th Finance Commission made its recommendations. But the Centre is keen on helping the state like bridging the revenue deficit," Venkaiah Naidu said, adding that before long a decision would be taken on this count.