Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday demanded that the Centre must grant special category status to the state, asserting that there would be "no compromise" on that.
"Bifurcation (of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh) was something that we hadn't wished for. Hence, the Centre should liberally aid our state," the Chief Minister said, addressing a meeting on the May Day celebration here.
"The previous UPA government promised special category status to AP for five years but we wanted it for ten years. It is the responsibility of the Centre to fulfil that," he asserted.
Referring indirectly to YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's criticism that he "compromised" with the NDA government on the special status, Naidu said there was "no compromise" on the issue.
"The TDP joined the NDA government at the Centre not with a lust for power but only to protect the interests of thestate and its bright future and to secure more projects," he added.
"When the NDA under Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power, we were repeatedly asked to join the government. Given our numbers at that time, we would have got any number of Cabinet berths but we stayed away only because we were never after positions," Chandrababu recalled.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister launched 'Chandranna Beema Padhakam', an accidental insurance for workers in the unorganised sector, on the occasion of International Workers Day.
Under this, each worker would get an accidental insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh. About 1.5 crore workers in the unorganised sector in the state would benefit from the scheme. Enrolment of workers in the scheme would be completed in the next three months and implementation would begin on Independence Day (August 15), Naidu announced.
As the day coincided with the birth anniversary of eminent Telugu poet and writer Sri Sri (Srirangam Srinivasa Rao), the Chief Minister announced that the latter's residence in Visakhapatnam would be converted into a memorial and developed as a research centre.
Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y Satyanarayana Chowdary, state ministers K Atchannaidu, Palle Raghunatha Reddy, D Umamaheswara Rao, P Pulla Rao and others participated.
The Chief Minister presented 'Srama Sakti' awards to workers and also awards to best managements on the occasion.