Politics
Naidu reiterated that the state would get the same benefits which it would have got with the special status.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu thanked the central government on Thursday for approving special assistance for the state.

Making a statement in the state assembly, he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for approving the special assistance in funding externally aided projects and the irrigation component of the Polavaram project.

The Chief Minister also thanked central ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley and Uma Bharati.

Naidu told the house that the Modi government had accepted the state government's demand to give legal sanctity to special assistance measures.

The union cabinet on Wednesday approved the special assistance announced last year in lieu of the promised special category status.

Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is an ally of the Modi government, alleged that the opposition tried to provoke people in the name of special category status.

He said Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, while announcing the special assistance, had made it clear that the state would get the same benefits which it would have got with the special status.

Naidu said the Polavaram project would be the last of the biggest irrigation projects in the state and would make Andhra Pradesh green and prosperous.

The Polavaram project sparked off a massive debate in the Assembly, with YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy claiming that the Centre had only approved funding to the irrigation component, and not to the entire project.

As the debate continued, Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao asked Jagan to sit down as he could not allocate any more time for the debate, which had already lasted for close to an hour.

The YSRCP immediately began raising slogans and tried to surround the well of the Assembly, following which the house was adjourned.

Later in the day, Naidu addressed the legislators, and assured them that the entire project would be funded by the Centre.


IANS inputs