VIJAYAWADA/HYDERABAD: The divide between allies BJP and Jana Sena widened further on Sunday with the saffron party launching a full throttle attack on Pawan Kalyan and other opposition leaders who have been criticising the BJP for not granting special category status to the state.
While Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu challenged his critics for an open debate, BJP Andhra Pradesh state in-charge Siddharth Nath Singh has called Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena party as the third rotten laddu.
Nevertheless, the BJP leadership has asserted that there is no provision for granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh under the 14th Finance Commission and the financial package announced by the Centre will address the concerns over revenue deficit.
The BJP leaders came in full defence of Venkaiah Naidu following verbal attack by the opposition parties particularly actor and Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan and even went to the extent of calling him the ‘third rotten laddu’ in Andhra Pradesh after Congress and YSR Congress.
The day began with Venkaiah Naidu rebutting the criticism by the opposition parties. Though he repeatedly blamed the Congress for the crisis and made no specific mention of Pawan Kalyan, the BJP senior leader dropped enough hints and stated that he was ready for an open debate but only with people with thorough knowedge of the Constitution, politics, administration and budgetary aspects.
“Given my long stint in politics and administration, I would not debate with some passerby,” he asserted. Venkaiah Naidu opined that ‘laddus’ might get rotten but the money given by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh cannot go stale.
Stating that the Opposition particularly Congress party was misguiding people of Andhra Pradesh on the issue, the Union minister minced no words while reiterating that special category status can no longer be granted. “The special category status would have brought development to only certain sectors. But the financial package announced by the Centre will result in speedy and overall development of Andhra Pradesh,” he said. He stated that he was hurt by the harsh words used by the Opposition in the past few days. He added the financial package of `2.25 lakh crore announced by the Centre for Andhra Pradesh will benefit the state more than the special category status being demanded by it.
In New Delhi on Sunday, BJP AP in-charge Siddharth Nath Singh did not hesitate to launch a personal attack on Pawan Kalyan. While reiterating that there was no provision to sanction special category status to Andhra Pradesh under 14th Finance Commission, he blamed the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for accepting the 14th Finance Commission report in January 2014, without including special status in the report.
“In the report, there is no provision for dividing the states on special and general basis for giving them certain financial packages or for the purpose of devolution of central taxes,” he said.