HYDERABAD: Even as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu is struggling to effectively counter the moves of the opposition parties, which are cornering him over his alleged failure in extracting special category status to the State from the Centre, his arch-rival and BJP leader Daggubati Purandeswari seems to have further made Naidu uncomfortable on the same issue.
The former Union minister on Sunday reiterated that the Centre might not accord special status to AP. She, however, made it clear that a financial package in lieu of special status would be bestowed on the State very soon.
Though it is not the first time for Purandeswari to say that special status would not be given to AP, the place and timing of her announcement give scope to the argument that the BJP might have decided to gradually needle the TDP over the issue of special status.
At a time when some of the political outfits and people’s organisations in Rayalaseema are upping the ante on the State government alleging that it is discriminating the region against Coastal Andhra on all fronts, TDP founder NT Rama Rao’s daughter, while visiting the region on Sunday, found an opportunity to clearly indicate that there would no special status to AP.
“The Centre has already announced `63,000 crore financial package to the State. Of that, `24,000 crore has already been given to AP in different forms for developmental and other activities,” she told reporters in Kurnool district.
Interestingly, the BJP leader tried to put the blame on the state government for the ongoing delay from the Centre in giving the remaining amount to AP, saying, “If the State government submits detailed proposals for the remaining financial aid, the Centre is ready to deliver the residual amount to the State.” Purandeswari chose to make these comments at a time when Chief Minister Naidu is planning to visit Delhi, on September 11, to hold discussions with the members and officials of the NITI Aayog.