Special status is our right: Chandrababu Naidu

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Special status is our right: Chandrababu Naidu

Penukonda (Anantapur Dt): After shedding all inhibitions, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has confronted the Centre by making a vociferous demand for Special Category Status (SCS) for AP.

“Special Category Status is our right,” he declared. Speaking at a public meeting after participating in the ceremony marking the frame installation of Kia Motors, Chandrababu Naidu, came out openly against the Centre, stretching to the limits that already strained alliance between the TDP and the BJP, on the issue of assistance to the state.
Till now, Naidu has been dodging over making a clear demand for the SCS but with the opposition parties converting it into an emotive issue, he too has caught up with the slogan. Though he has been saying now and then that he too stood for the status, it is for the first time that he had made categorical statement that he was pitching for it, regardless of the potential his stand has in upsetting the TDP-BJP applecart.

A combative Naidu, who wanted to know how the Centre can deny the status to AP, said: “When we sought the SCS, the Centre said the 14th Finance Commission has laid down that such a status could not be given to AP and that in future no state would get it.

But the SCS is continuing in states where it has already been in force,” he said, adding: “We are prepared to work hard. You have to help the economy which has begun looking up with our pro-active policies, become vibrant.”

The Chief Minister said it was unfortunate that the Centre should throw few crumbs of help to the state when it needed hand-holding. The state settled for special package after the Centre had said it would be as good as status. The package promised many things, but delivered very little, he said, implying that it was more like a placebo.

Naidu said that had the Centre bridged the revenue gap and bestowed special category status, the state would have made rapid strides by now. “The people of AP are determined to contribute to the growth of the nation and in return, the Centre should provide a conducive atmosphere for it to happen,” he said. Naidu cautioned the Centre against humiliating the people of the state “I want the Centre to keep all the promises made in the AP State Reorganisation Act and the assurances made besides the Act.

Please do not hurt people’s sentiments,” Naidu said, playing on Telugu pride which his father-in-law and founder of Telugu Desam Party NTR used to come to power in early 80s.  “I will not tolerate if you humiliate Telugus or deny them their rights. If you do not honour our sentiment, I will not leave anyone. I will go to any extent to protect the self-esteem of Telugus. There is no question of compromise on this count,” he said.

Naidu said that he was facing flak from some quarters that he was not seeking special category status, but they should keep in mind that the situation in 2014 when the state was divided is entirely different from what it is now. “I have put the state on the road to development. Had the Centre helped the state the way it was supposed to, we would have achieved much more,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Daily Report and is published from a The Hans India)

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