No support from Cong, BJP on special status to Andhra: CM Naidu
Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Apr 21 : Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Friday hit out at the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over their lack of support for the Special Category Status (SCS) to the state – an assurance that was given in the Rajya Sabha at the time of bifurcation in 2014.
Speaking to the media after ending his 12-hour fast over ‘Centre’s non-cooperation with the state’ here, Naidu said, “Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated by Congress and the BJP with an understanding. Congress did not give any assurances to the state. Then, in Rajya Sabha, the special status was announced. That was not asked by us,” he added.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister maintained that he would have the responsibility of developing the state and demanded equal justice to both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Asserting that he had joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for state’s interests, Naidu added, “We are never power greedy. During (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s rule, we did not take any ministerial berths. National politics are not new to Telugu Desam Party (TDP). I went along with BJP with the only thought of state interests.”
Sensing conspiracy by the BJP on not giving special status, he continued, “What Modi ji told in Tirupati and what he fulfilled? I am asking today the central government on behalf of five crores people of Andhra, to fulfill the promises given in parliament. Nothing more than that.”
“What you have told on the special status? Each year you spoke of some election or some other reason. Centre said special status will not be given to anybody. But after giving special status to 11 states, even now, then why not for Andhra?” he questioned.
Naidu further said that the Centre was trying to take Andhra into their hold, similar to what they did with Tamil Nadu.
Further, slamming the BJP for not supporting the special status to the southern state, he said, “Prakash Javadekar said that we cooperated to Andhra Pradesh as we thought the TDP will continue with us. Had we known earlier that TDP quit NDA, we would not have cooperated. Even now we have never compromised on the development of the state.”
“The opposition parties had questioned us many things. I have never compromised. I played soft with the Centre for state interests. But when the right time came, we took stubborn decisions. You asked us to get our ministers resigned and put no-confidence motion. I did all those things at a correct and appropriate time. Then why you are not coming together with us. After all these, I took up this hunger strike. Why did not you turn up?”, Naidu added, continuing his tirade against the BJP and the Congress party.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister threatened to “take action” and not “spare” anyone if the Centre continued to think beyond the state’s interests.
Many parties like the Samara Party, Nava Samaj Party, Lok Satta, Aam Aadmi Party, Revolutionary Socialist Party, and All India Forward Bloc extended their support to Naidu over the special status.
Pratyeka Hoda Sadhana Samiti (Association for Special Status) convenor Chalasani Srinivas appealed to Naidu to take up indefinite hunger strike in the national capital. He also suggested all the parties in Andhra Pradesh to unite to fight for special status and other promises made by the Centre.
Naidu has been calling for the SCS to Andhra Pradesh. Asserting his demand, the TDP had quit the BJP-led NDA alliance last month.
The SCS was first accorded in 1969 to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Nagaland. Over the years, eight more states were added to the list – Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and, finally, in 2010, Uttarakhand.