Rahul Gandhi writes to PM Modi, presses for special category status for AP

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New Delhi, Oct 19: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressing for early grant of special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

In his letter, the Congress Vice President has requested the Centre to grant special category status and announce a time frame for fulfillment of commitments made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, AICC sources said.

Rahul Gandhi

His letter comes at a time when Modi is set to visit Andhra Pradesh on Oct 22 to lay the foundation stone for Amaravathi--the new capital of the bifurcated state.

The Act had resulted in carving separate state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh some two years back which has led to lot of problems for the people in coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions.

Gandhi had earlier accused the TDP-led government as also the NDA and opposition party YSR Congress for not doing enough to pressure the Centre on this issue.

In his October 17 letter to Modi, Gandhi noted that (the then) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced special category status on the floor of Rajya Sabha on February 20, 2014, and that was later approved by the UPA Cabinet and sent to the Planning Commission for implementation.

Pointing that many of the commitments made to the state remain unfulfilled, he told the Modi, "I have been to Andhra Pradesh twice over the last year. Everywhere I went, I could sense the severe disappointment and pain the people were in due to the Centre's failure to honour its commitments."

"Today, the state is facing a huge revenue deficit and development initiatives are at a virtual standstill. Despite the obvious need for immediate aid, the Centre has still not acted to extend support."

Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, had said that the NITI Aayog was examining the matter of granting of special status to AP along with an assistance package to the state. 

PTI

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