Andhra Pradesh's YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government has slammed the BJP over the Union government dropping special category status from the agenda of February 17 meeting of the committee constituted to resolve the bilateral issues between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Hours after the Union Home Ministry released a revised agenda of the meeting, the YSRCP alleged that BJP does not want Andhra Pradesh to get special category status which was promised at the time of bifurcation.
Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Nani reacted sharply to the change in the meeting's agenda. Recalling that the BJP promised special status in its election manifesto in 2014, he said the party betrayed people of Andhra Pradesh by going back on its promise. He said several states continued to enjoy the benefits of special status.
The Minister also targeted the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for compromising on the issue of special status. He said the TDP government bartered special status for a special package.
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday, February 12, announced that the first meeting of the dispute resolution sub-committee will be held on February 17 to discuss the pending issues between the two Telugu states. The Ministry on February 8 constituted a committee under the chairmanship of a joint secretary to carry out the preparatory work and recommend practical ways to resolve the bilateral issues arising out of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
As per the notice issued by the Ministry, the agenda of the meeting included special category status, division of Andhra Pradesh State Finance Corporation, settlement of power utilities of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, removal of anomaly in taxation matters, division of cash balance and bank deposits, cash credit by APSCSCL and TSCSCL, resource gap, development grant for seven backward districts of Andhra Pradesh covering Rayalaseema and north coastal region, and tax incentives.
The Ministry later issued another notice, and revised the agenda. As per the revised agenda, the meeting will discuss division of Andhra Pradesh State Finance Corporation, payment of power dues to APGENCO by TSDISCOM, division of cash balance and bank deposits and cash credit by APSCSCL and TSCSCL.
BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao said since special category status is not an issue between two states, it has been dropped from the meeting. He said the issue of resource gap was also dropped from the meeting's agenda.