VIJAYWADA: The votaries of special category status have a supporter in former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.
The Karnakata leader who was in Vijayawada on Sunday to attend a private function, reiterated that the centre is bound to honour the commitment made by the UPA-II that it would grant special category status to AP state.
"It was a commitment made in Parliament and there is no way the BJP can back out from it. Though it was a promise made by the previous government, the successor one has the responsibility to honour it, Deve Gowda said.
Asked for his comment on the reluctance of the BJP in granting the status to the state and offering other benefits in its lieu, the former Prime Minister said the benefits that are accruing to all other states are being shown as special benefits to AP.
For instance, whatever benefit that would accrue after the GST bill becomes an act is common to all states, he said and made it clear that special economic packages that are promised along with special category status have to be sanctioned to the state to rev its economy and help it stand on its feet.
Asked if Jana Sena Chief Pawan Kalyan would be able to get special category status for AP, the Karnataka leader shot back: "Why not? Why do you suspect? He is an young man full of energy," Deve Gouda said. He dismissed as matter of no consequence, the meeting between his son HD Kumar Swamy and Pawan Kalyan Recently. There is nothing to be read in between the lines. Kumara Swamy met Pawan Kalyan in connection with with his son Nikhil Gouda making a debut in Kannada film Jaguar. As he is also set to enter Tolywood, Kumara Swamy met him to seek his blessings and support," Deve Gowda said.
The octogenarian politician said that meeting between Kumara Swamy and Pawan Kalyan has nothing to do with politics. There is no such effort as to forge a realignment of forces since the BJP is firmly in the saddle and whatever realignment of forces that had to take place, had already taken place, he said.
Deve Gouda has a lot of appreciation for Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. "You have an able administrator. In his leadership you would have a wonderful capital at Amaravati," he said and pointed out that there was no need to feel depressed that Hyderabad went to Telangnaa during bifurcation, "You have Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Kanaka Durga. Why fear?" he asked.
Deve Gowda was accompanied by his aging wife Chennamma who wanted to offer prayers to presiding deity of Vijaywada Goddess Kanaka Durga. "My wife has seen all the temples except Vijayawada Kanaka Durga and Bhadrachalam Lord Sri Rama.
This is the reason why she is travelling with me, he said.