After a heated debate, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution requesting the Centre to accord Special Category Status to the state and implement all the provisions contained in the AP Reorganization Act.
The resolution moved by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in the assembly on Tuesday also appealed to the central government to take steps to fulfill the assurances given by then prime minister in parliament.
Making it clear he will not compromise on the issue of special status to the state, special package, tax incentives to industry and all provisions of the Reorganisation Act, Naidu reiterated that the state needs handholding by the central government till it achieves level-playing field with neighbouring states.
He, however, remarked that special category status has been diluted over the years and that it was not a solution of all the problems.
Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is a partner in the BJP-led NDA government, said his government had achieved some progress in its efforts to get central help for the revenue-deficit state.
He assured the house that he will continue to pursue the matter with the central government.
Pointing out that he visited New Delhi 17 times in the last 15 months, the TDP chief said the state managed to get Rs.2,300 crore towards revenue deficit. The state is yet to get another Rs.12,000 crore.
Naidu said the central government also provided Rs.1,500 crore in the first year for development of the state capital besides extending some incentives.
Quoting the 14th Finance Commission report, he said Andhra Pradesh will be a revenue-deficit state and hence needed all help from the central government.
He said the Finance Commission never said that Andhra Pradesh should not be given special status.
"We don't have a state capital, funds, industry and jobs. Don't compare us with other states," he said, in an obvious reference to statements by some central ministers that no state will be given special status.
He recalled that former prime minister Manmohan Singh had announced in parliament that Andhra Pradesh will be given special category status for five years to bring the state finances on firm footing.
Voicing concern over some people committing suicides over the special status, Naidu appealed to people not to be driven by emotion.
Stating that bifurcation was imposed on the people of Andhra, Naidu said the then UPA government divided the state in an unjust manner.
He said 59 percent population was allotted 47 percent revenue. "For the first time 59 percent population of the state was deprived of the state capital."
Opposition leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy lashed out at the TDP government for its failure to get the special status even after one-and-half years. He said Naidu failed to clarify why he failed to get the special status.