Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, backing the cause of 'special status' for the state of Andhra Pradesh.
While local Congress leaders and other opposition parties in the state have been raising the issue, a letter from the paty Vice-President himself is seen as a big move with a lot of political significance.
"During the process of reorganization, one of the major concerns of the people of Andhra Pradesh was the economic viability of their state. To address these concerns, the UPA government was careful to include a comprehensive development package for Andhra Pradesh, within the act itself," the letter read.
After adding that the promise to the state has remained unfulfilled after more than one year of the NDA government taking charge, he also adds that "I have been to Andhra Pradesh twice over the last year. Wherever I went, I could sense the severe disappointment and pain of the people due to the Centre's failure to honour its commitments. To day the state is facing a huge revenue deficit and development initiatives are at a virtual standstill. Despite the obvious need, the Centre has still not acted to extend support," said Gandhi in his letter.
Leader of opposition in Andhra Pradesh and YSRCP chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy recently sat on an indefinite fast for six days to exert pressure on the Centre and the state government.
However, his fast was foiled by the police, who shifted him to a nearby hospital.
"Since you are visiting Andhra Pradesh to lay the foundation stone for its new capital Amaravati, I would like to urgently request you to use this opportunity to grant special category status and announce a time-frame for the fulfilment of the commitments made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act," Gandhi added.
The Prime Minister will attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of the AP capital Amaravati, on the banks of the river Krishna on October 22.
The letter by Rahul Gandhi is likely to act as a shot in the arm for the Andhra unit of the Congress.