New Delhi: Nine other states have demanded the “Special Category State” status from the Centre and supported Andhra Pradesh’s request in this regard, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said.
“During the discussion in Parliament on special status for AP, nine states supported it. But they also wanted special status, saying theirs was also a just case. Chief Ministers of some of these states have written to the Centre in this regard,” Naidu said at a press conference at his family’s Swarna Bharat Trust in Atukuru village near Vijaywada on Sunday. The minister said the special status “is not a panacea”.
He, however, did not give names of the nine other states that have raised the demand. “There are certain benefits that come with the special status, no doubt. But special status is not a Sanjeevani, not a panacea,” he said.
On the grant of special status to AP, the Union Minister said a dilemma had arisen following the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.
“The Prime Minister told the (AP) Chief Minister about this, but the latter wanted a decision taken on the special status at the earliest,” he added. The Finance Commission has come out with some proposals to bridge the revenue deficit of AP due to the bifurcation. The Centre is examining them and a decision would be taken expeditiously, Naidu said. Andhra Pradesh has been demanding the special status ever since the bifurcation and creation of Telangana.
The Union Minister noted that AP’s comprehensive development was possible only with the assistance of the Centre. He said the Centre would celebrate ‘Tiranga Festival’ across the country as part of the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement.
“Union Ministers will visit the native places of freedom fighters and pay homage. Cultural programmes will be organised across the country, while essay writing and fancy dress competitions will be conducted for school children. The Youth Services department will conduct marathons,” he added.