As JD(U) ups the ante on 'Special status', TDP pitches for more Central funds

On Saturday, the JD(U)'s national executive passed a resolution demanding either a special category status or a special package for Bihar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar.Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: As its NDA partner, Janata Dal United (JD(U)), upped the ante on its demand for special category status for Bihar, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Saturday said that the development of Andhra Pradesh is the party’s main agenda and it will work together with the central government to fulfill the aspirations of the state.

On Saturday, the JD(U)'s national executive passed a resolution demanding either a special category status or a special package for Bihar.

Speaking to TNIE, TDP's Parliamentary party leader Krishna Devarayalu said that the party will try to get as many funds as possible from the Centre for the development of the state. When asked whether the demand for special status for the state ceased to be on their wish list, Devarayalu said, “We don’t want to put a name such as special package or special status. Our focus is to get more central assistance to the state.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar.
TDP, BJP will do everything possible for development of Andhra: PM Modi

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are the two key allies of the NDA government as the BJP failed to secure a majority on its own to form the government at the Centre.

The TDP is NDA’s largest ally with 16 seats, while the JD(U) has 12 seats.

Both Nitish and Naidu have been pitching for special category status for Bihar and Andhra Pradesh for a long time.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar.
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The TDP quit the NDA government in 2018 on the issue of special category status. The party also moved a no-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha before leaving the NDA.

Under the special category status, states will get preferential treatment, and 90 percent of funds under centrally sponsored schemes are contributed by the Centre. The states are required to contribute just 10 percent.

However, the Modi government had cited the 14th Finance Commission's report to rule out special category status for any more states.

“I cannot comment on what the Finance Minister said. Our leader has clearly said that the development of the state is our main agenda. We will stick to that and will work with the NDA to ensure stability and development,” said Devarayalu.

Meanwhile, taking a jibe at both chief ministers, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh asked if they would walk the talk on the issue. He also questioned NDA partner Telugu Desam Party for not pressing for the special category status for Andhra Pradesh. "The JD(U) has just passed a resolution reiterating the demand for special category status and central assistance to Bihar. Will the CM summon the courage to have the state cabinet also pass such a resolution? Will the CM of Bihar walk the talk?" Ramesh said in a post on X.

"And what about TDP in its new innings? Why has it not yet passed such a resolution for Andhra Pradesh, a promise emphasised by the non-biological PM in the holy city of Tirupati on April 30, 2014?" he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar.
Will PM Modi deliver special category status for Andhra, asks Congress

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