VIJAYAWADA: With main opposition YSR Congress and other parties stepping up their attack on the TDP-BJP combine to fulfill the promise of granting special status to Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi after Independence Day to discuss about the help the state needs from Centre.
"I have spoken to (Union Finance Minster Arun) Jaitelyji, Rajnath Singhji, Venkaiah Naidu and Nirmala Sitharamanji and since we are pre-poll allies, I spoke to (BJP president) Amit Shahji," Naidu told reporters.
"Since I called yesterday, Prime Minister called today. I clearly requested that certain things have been included in the (Andhra Pradesh) Re-organisation Act and injustice is done to Andhra Pradesh since then (following state bifurcation). BJP also fought then (for AP's interests).
"You (Modi) also came. I told him that we need to implement them. I explained my anguish and the prevailing situation here to him. He said I will invite you after (August) 15th and discuss what needs to be done," he said.
Naidu has recently decided to function from Vijayawada, AP's capital region, for at least three-four days in a week so as to be geographically close to the people.
He would continue to work from Hyderabad - the common capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for 10 years as per the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act after which the city would be the capital city solely for Telangana - in remaining three days of a week.
The promise of the special status was made to Seemandhra (new Andhra Pradesh) by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in parliament, during the bifurcation last year.
Union minister Rao Inderjit Singh had recently said in Parliament in reply to a query from a Bihar member that the special status would not be given to states any more.
The opposition YSRCP, Congress and Left parties have since stepped up their agitation for realising the promise of the special status. The issue took an emotional turn with a Congress worker allegedly setting himself on fire at a public meeting organised by the Congress at Tirupati last week in support of the special status issue. The man succumbed to the burns.
Alleging that NDA allies BJP-TDP have gone back on the promise of special status to Andhra Pradesh, CPI organised a shut down across the state yesterday.
Congress and various other groups, the YSR Congress, which held a protest in Delhi this week on the promise of special status, called for a bandh separately later this month.
Noting that Andhra Pradesh should not be compared with other states, Naidu said the Centre has to take the responsibility to help the state till it can compete with other states in development.
In addition to the promise of special status, he said, the issues of offering a special development package, completing the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project (given the status of national project by the Centre), bridging revenue deficit and setting up a railway zone in the state needed to be realised.
Maintaining that the opposition parties and others are speaking as if special status alone would address all, he said they would blame the government if certain other things are not provided to the state.
Referring to the criticism of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on the special status issue and the Polavaram project during his recent tour of AP, Naidu said it was the NDA government which facilitated the construction of the project by merging seven mandals of Telangana with AP.
Taking exception to the attack of opposition parties on him and TDP on the special status issue, he said he would place all issues before the people.