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Andhra special category status generates heat in Parl

The issue of special category status to Andhra Pradesh generated heat in Parliament on Tuesday with the government seeking to turn the tables on the Congress, insisting that the promise has not been made part of the AP Reorganisation Act, which carved separate Telangana out of the undivided state.

“I am a student of Law. Nowhere in the Act this is written about. The Bill was brought up by the UPA government. It does not contain the words of ‘special category’ status,” Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said in Lok Sabha, amid protests from Congress members, who staged a brief walkout.

Taking potshots at the Congress, he accused the party of being “silent” and “forgetting” the promise when in power and turning “violent” on the issue when in the Opposition, just to score some political points.

He stressed he hailed from the region, adding that the government has taken a “keen interest” on the development of Andhra Pradesh soon after it assumed office and had taken a number of decisions to help the state, including on the ambitious Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also assured Rajya Sabha that the Centre would fullfil all commitments made towards Andhra Pradesh in ‘letter and spirit’, following protests by some Congress members. “Centre is going to honour each one of those commitments in letter and spirit,” he said.
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