Amid TDP-BJP row, Senior leader Ashok Gajapati Raju attends cabinet meeting

Posted March 08, 2018

In a bid to pacify the sulking ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today promised Andhra Pradesh funds equivalent to what a special category state receives but drew a line saying politics can not increase the quantum of money.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has made a decision to pull out two its ministers - A. Gajapathi Raju and Y.S. Chowdary - from the Union Cabinet.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu made the announcement in a press conference late on Wednesday night. He renewed his plea to the Centre for a helping hand till his state develops on par with the neighboring states. "We can not give special category status on the ground of backwardness because on that count it is Bihar which should be considered first", a senior BJP leader said.

With the decision by TDP now to withdraw from the alliance, it must be noted that the Congress president Rahul Gandhi had announced that Congress will grant AP the special category status if elected in 2019 elections.

The Andhra CM said that it is wrong to compare Andhra to other states that are backward. "Only variation is that after the 14th Finance Commission report, instead of formally calling it a Special Category state, we are calling it a special package, which gives the same monetary benefits that a special category state gives you", Jaitley told reporters here. With Arun Jaitley stating that Special Category Status can not be given to Andhra Pradesh, the AP CM Chandrababu Naidu stubborn on Special Category Status, the fallout was expected to be inevitable.

He said the decision to pull out minsters were taken for the benefit of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

He later tweeted: "It is my belief that if the opposition stands united on this issue, we can force the BJP Govt to do justice to the people of Andhra".

We are giving special packages for all the backward states.

The erstwhile special category states comprising of the North East and the three hill States now receive higher assistance from the Centre for Central sector schemes, which was also offered to Andhra Pradesh, Jaitley said.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.

As far as revenue deficit is concerned, it will be for 10 months.