Hyderabad: In a damage control exercise, the BJP announced that it would extend the special status granted to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh by five more years.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced special status for five years. Speaking to the media here on Sunday, senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said his party had tried to secure a 10-year special status during the debate on Telangana Bill, but the Congress did not agree.
Mr Naidu said the people of Seemandhra had reconciled to the division long ago and had prepared themselves for the eventuality. The Congress, however, lacked sincerity and stretched the division till the end of its term for political gains. “The Congress could have initiated the process two years ago, but timed it just before the elections. This resulted in its members trying to use Parliament for their poll campaign,” he said in a sarcastic way referring to the ruckus in Parliament.
The BJP leader said it would be difficult to give special status to a state which is not on the country’s border. He also referred to the increasing demand for special status by the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
The senior BJP leader also appealed to people of Telangana to strengthen BJP which is all set to come to power in the Centre. No poll survey talked about Congress returning to power and we are confident that its number does not cross 50. Winning a couple of seats in Telangana will not make any difference to Congress but on the contrary the BJP can improve its tally beyond the predicted 250 plus, he said.
Though indirectly, the veteran BJP leader took a dig at TD chief Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress supremo Mr Y.S.Jaganmohan Reddy. Some leaders had openly announced that BJP could assume that it won all the 25 seats in Seemandhra while some promised 30 seats in the state to us, he said adding that the BJP, however, stuck to values.