"The state government is is still stuck with special status. It is only hoodwinking people and not completing the projects," Rajnath said.

No special status for Andhra Centre is helping state Home Minister Rajnath SinghFile photo
news Politics Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 09:54

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday reiterated that the Centre would not grant Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh as it was continuing to give special treatment to the state and was committed to its development. 

Asking why the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was 'making a fuss about it', Rajnath said that the Centre would also fulfill all provisions in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. 

The Union Minister was speaking at a gathering after laying the foundation stone for a new state headquarters of the BJP in Guntur district. 

"I still don’t understand why he (Naidu) quit the NDA. The Centre open heartedly did a lot for AP and has been implementing the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 with full honesty and in letter and spirit. The state is being given a whopping Rs 2,06,910 crore in the form of the 14th Finance Commission grant in addition to the Rs 22,130 crore revenue deficit grant. Of the Rs 4,170 crore resource gap (caused by the bifurcation), Rs 3,979 crore has already been released. The state government is supposed to complete these projects promptly but it is still stuck with SCS. It is only hoodwinking people and not completing the projects," Singh was quoted as saying.

He also questioned Naidu's recent decision to join hands with the Congress in Telangana as the state headed to the polls.

"Instead, the TDP has joined hands with the Congress, which is on a ventilator, and trying to revive it. It is inexplicable to me why Naidu has chosen such a course of action," Rajnath told the gathering.  

‘Special category status’ is a classification given by the Centre to assist in development of those states that face geographical and socio-economic disadvantages like hilly terrains, strategic international borders, tribal population, economic and infrastructural backwardness and non-viable state finances.

During discussion on the AP Reorganization Bill, 2014, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured five years of SCS for the residual state of Andhra Pradesh, but the present BJP government has said that the provision was dropped by the 14th Finance Commission.

The demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh has been strongly articulated by the ruling TDP and the opposition YSR Congress Party in the state. The Congress has also supported the demand for the state that will go to the Assembly polls along with Lok Sabha elections in 2019.