Pitching for a special status for Andhra Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that it was the responsibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfill the promise given by his predecessor (UPA) government when Telangana was carved out as a separate state.
"Government of India had made a promise to Andhra Pradesh that after the bifurcation, it will help the state fully and give it a package. This promise was definitely made by the UPA government but it was also a promise by government of India. Narendra Modiji should remember that before being NDA government, it is government of India and that government had made a promise to Andhra Pradesh," the Congress Vice President said addressing a rally in Anantapur.
The UPA-led central government had in 2014 given its nod to divide Andhra Pradesh and carve out a separate state of Telangana.
Rahul Gandhi had written to the Prime Minister four months ago pressing for early grant of special category status for Andhra Pradesh, detailing the "disappointment and pain" among people over the Centre's "failure" to honour its commitments.
He had noted in the letter that the southern state was facing a huge revenue deficit and development initiatives have been at a "standstill".
Gandhi had also accused the TDP-led state government and the opposition YSR Congress for not doing enough to pressurise the Centre on the issue.
Speaking on the occasion, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also recalled the pledge of the erstwhile UPA government to accord special status to Andhra Pradesh and said the Narendra Modi government has "refused" to honour the promise.
Reiterating his stand on granting special status to Andhra Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi said, "I want to tell Andhra Pradesh CM's TDP party and Jagan's party (YSR Congress Party) that this (according special status) is not a political matter, but a matter of pride for AP. You are not fighting! But you need to fight more," he said.