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Political parties should do their “homework” instead of sticking to their demand of seeking special status for Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday said.
“Political parties are unfortunately sticking on to this label, special status, and making an issue out of it. “I will appeal to them to please do some homework on what exactly the central government has extended to Andhra Pradesh. Whether this will be of significance for kick-starting the economy and making it vibrant or not should be debated on facts rather than just on emotions,” she told reporters. She was speaking after meeting the BJP leadership of Andhra Pradesh. Congress has attacked the Modi government for not keeping the promise of granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh, a commitment that was given by previous UPA regime.
Seeking to put a lid on the debate in Andhra Pradesh, the government Thursday said the system of according special category status for states has gone out of vogue following the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. Sitharaman also said emotions are important and everybody sympathises with the newly created state which is in “terrible financial situation” and all are committed for the development of the state.
“I would appeal to everybody to please look at the details (of the package) and look at the facts, see what commitments have been made,” she added. In order to revive the economy of Andhra Pradesh which is in a big revenue deficit situation, the Centre has worked together with the state to ensure the holistic development, she said.
The Union Minister also said the national project at Polavaram will be completely constructed at central government’s expense. “It is critical for the well being of the state,” she added. The package includes full funding of Polavaram irrigation project, tax concessions and a special assistance. Andhra Pradesh, which financially suffered because of creation of separate state of Telangana in June 2014, will get a railway zone as also all cost incurred on the irrigation part of Polavaram project from the date it was declared a National Project on April 1, 2014, will be funded by the Centre.