Want debate on AP special status issue: Chandrababu Naidu

Naidu also asked people not to resort to extreme step for the cause of special status

Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday said he wanted to hold a debate on granting special category status to the state and other issues mentioned in the AP Reorganisation Act, days after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi in this regard.

"I want discussion on (granting) special status to AP and other issues mentioned in the AP Reorganisation Act, besides on the corruption in the tenure of YS Rajasekhar Reddy (late AP CM). I would place all issues before people," Naidu said.

He also appealed to the opposition parties not to "politicise" the issue of granting special status to AP and join him in the development of the state, which was bifurcated last year to create Telangana.

Naidu also asked people not to resort to extreme step like committing suicide for the cause of special status. His appeal came a day after a 55-year-old physically- challenged man allegedly committed suicide in Nellore district over the issue.

"I appealed to the Prime Minister to take responsibility for development of the state at par with other developed states neighbouring Andhra. I requested PM to implement all issues incorporated in the AP Reorganisation Act," the CM said while interacting with reporters here.

Naidu met Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday amid escalating pressure from the opposition parties on the demand for granting special status as promised during division of the State last year.

The CM said he had appealed to Union government to award additional incentives for industries in the State as corporates will not be able to set up new units in the absence of incentives.

"I also requested the Prime Minister to allocate more funds for Polavaram irrigation project to expedite its completion. The Centre has agreed to reimburse the expenditure from time to time," Naidu added.

In a related development, Union Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday urged the NITI Aayog to "expeditiously" examine the issue of granting Special Status for Andhra Pradesh and assistance package to the State.

The Centre's stand on the issue is that a final view on granting special status would be taken reconciling with the Finance Commission's recommendation.

Naidu, who has of late started functioning from Vijayawada where the capital city of AP is coming up, said he had sought a development package better than the 'Bundelkhand package' and help for developing the capital city, apart from incentives to promote industrialisation in the State.

"Bundelkhand package was given (for development of Bundekhand region). I urged that a package better than what was given to them be given to us. I said funds be given for capital city development, not just for raising a few buildings, but a capital where a lot of economic activity takes place and not just an administrative capital.

"Industrial incentives are not part of special status.

So, I said Andhra Pradesh cannot be compared with other states. You have to give industrial incentives specially," he said.

Naidu said he appealed to the PM for giving additional funds and reimbursing expenditure from time to time for early completion of multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project, which has been given national status by the Centre.

He said he also appealed for setting up a steel plant at Kadapa and international airports at Visakhaptanam and Tirupati, construction of port at Dugarajapatnam and metro rail projects in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.

The CM said he spoke to NITI Ayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya who has been entrusted with the task of preparing a road map on the benefits to be given to AP.

Andhra Pradesh was promised special status by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the floor of Parliament during state bifurcation last year, while several other benefits were made part of the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act.

Naidu stressed that the Centre has already accepted several promises made to AP, including setting up Central institutions and providing financial help, in one year since the NDA government came to power last year. He also hit out at opposition YSR Congress, Congress and others who have accused the NDA constituents, TDP and BJP of not delivering on the promises made to AP.

On the Enforcement Directorate (ED) reportedly attaching certain lands over allegations of irregularities and corruption, he said the land should come to state government as it is the rightful owner.

( Source : PTI )
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