“Our stand has been very clear. We have been insisting on Special Status," Jagan said.

Will support BJP if Andhra gets special status says YSRCP chief JaganFile photo: PTI
news Politics Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 08:40

Triggering off speculation in the state, the Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Monday said that his YSRC party was ready to enter into an alliance with the BJP for the 2019 election.

However, he said that the alliance would only be possible, if the Centre announced special category status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.

In an interview to an English news channel, Reddy said, “Our stand has been very clear. We have been insisting on SCS. It was promised to the people by both the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP. But after coming to power, for reasons best known to (CM) Chandrababu Naidu, SCS has taken a back seat. Deprived of such a status, AP cannot compete with cities like Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. The infrastructure to match these cities cannot be provided unless there is SCS. Why would anybody come and invest in AP where there is no infrastructure? This is the reason we are very particular about the SCS.”

Jagan’s statement comes at a crucial time, as the state plans to go to the polls in 2019. Though the BJP and TDP area allies in the state and Centre, with the latter being part of the NDA alliance, there is a growing rift between the two parties in Andhra.

In May last year, Jagan had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and extended his party’s support for the Presidential candidate.

“We will support any candidate the BJP fields as we have very less differences in opinion. Except for differences on the land acquisition bill and special status for Andhra Pradesh, we share similar opinions on various issues, which we think are pro-people,” Jagan had told reporters after the meeting.

The TDP criticised Jagan for the meeting, stating that he was trying to 'escape' investigation by central agencies.

Last November, Jagan launched his six-month-long 'padyatra' or foot march, virtually kicking off his campaign for the 2019 assembly elections.

He said that he will cover 3,000 km across all 13 districts of the state to interact with people and know their problems.

Jagan hopes to recreate the magic of his late father YSR, who had launched a similar 'padyatra' to end nearly a decade-long rule of Chandrababu Naidu in undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2004.


IANS inputs

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