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No ‘Special Status’ to AP – Ministry of Finance sensational remarks!

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It is time for the AP MPs and TDP political strategists to pack their bags to Andhra Pradesh. Without any further delay, the TDP & Team can end their agitations, and protests (or even dramas, if you wish so), towards ‘AP Special Category Status’.

The Ministry of Finance has confirmed that granting Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh would be highly sceptical. It also added that, if AP is giving incentives that are given to eastern states, then other states too would be demanding for the same.

‘Today you are saying it is Telugu people’s sentiment. If we grant the Special Category Status to you today, tomorrow Tamil and Malayalam people will come up with their sentiment. We will be forced to take them into consideration. Fulfilling the ‘Special Package’ is more beneficial than anything else. Rest all are not possible.

The AP Government failed to justify even a single rupee granted by the Centre. It is absolutely senseless to ask that, if other states are being given, why aren’t giving to Andhra Pradesh. Tax incentives are not at all possible.

Andhra Pradesh politicians are raising political heat among them, in name of self-esteem or self-respect,’ said the Ministry of Finance.

It is time for the people of Andhra Pradesh to teach the BJP-led Central Government, and AP Politician a lesson for life.

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#RakhiProtest to remind Modi of special status and other forgone promises

On the auspicious occasion of Rakhshabandhan sisters tie a sacred thread to their brothers who promise to protect their sisters in times of need. To make the most out of the event, Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee leaders (APCC) decided to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the election and reorganization promises by sending him virtual Rakhi’s through social media.

There are several Rakhis designed with Rahul Gandhi’s image in the centre and and slogans demanding special category status, Completion of Polavaram, Tribal University, Special package for Uttarandhra and Rayalaseema, Vishakapatnam railway zone, steel factory and other promises that were part of AP Reorganisation and 2014 elections.

The poster of the virtual Rakhi was released by N Raghuveera Reddy on Sunday who informed that women party workers would send the bands to the PM. He requested people to use social network to take part in the virtual #RakhiProtest.

It may be noted that, curtains were pulled down for several other promises like Steel factory, increase in Assembly seats, Vijayawada Metro Rail apart from the above-mentioned undertakings have not been realized.

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Rahul slams Modi for going back on special status to Andhra

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Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for going back on a promise made in Tirupati temple to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

He asked Modi what kind of Hindu he is, who breaks his promises and tells lies to people.

“Modiji talks of Hindu dharma. He says ‘I am protector of Hindu dharma’. I want to ask what kind of Hindu he is to break promises made in Tirupati and speak lies to people,” said Gandhi while reminding him of his promise in 2014 to grant special status to Andhra for 10 years.

The Congress leader was addressing a public meeting here Sunday night along with leaders of Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal-United, the DMK and the Communist Party of India to demand the Central government fulfil its commitment made to Andhra Pradesh at the time of bifurcation.

Gandhi said there was some pressure from Modi and BJP on Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy as both had compromised with the Centre over the issue.

“They may have some fear in their heart and that is why they are not standing with the people,” he said.

“This is the special package,” he remarked in an obvious reference to the special package announced by the Centre last year in lieu of the promised special category status.

Gandhi said special status would have benefited the state to the tune of thousands of crores as 90 percent of the funds coming from the Centre would have been in the form of grants.

Stating that the promise of special package was made by Manmohan Singh in his capacity as the Prime Minister of the country, he said it was the right of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

He promised that granting special status would be the first task of the government of Congress and its allies in 2019.

Recalling that the previous UPA government led by Congress had declared Polavaram a national project, the Congress leader said Chandrababu Naidu entered into a deal with the present government under which the state government will construct the project.

“This is because if the government of India spends the money to build this project, nobody will get a commission,” he said.

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav said if Naidu was sincere in getting special status for the state, he should set this as the precondition for Telugu Desam Party’s support in the election for the President.

Sharad Yadav said Bihar was also demanding special status and it would stand with the people of Andhra Pradesh for this cause.

CPI General Secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy and DMK leader N.R. Elango slammed Modi government for failing to fulfill its promises including special status to Andhra Pradesh.

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Andhra will get Special Status if Cong voted to power : Rahul Gandhi to promise in Guntur !

After his visit to Telangana earlier this week, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi will visit Andhra Pradesh on Sunday to address a public meeting in Guntur near here on the demand for special category status to the state.

Gandhi will promise the special category status to Andhra Pradesh if the party is voted to power in the 2019 assembly elections.

At the public meeting, the Congress leader will also likely come down heavily on the Telugu Desam Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition in the state for going back on their poll promise to accord the special status to Andhra Pradesh.

Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav, Communist Party of India national Secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy, and Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will address the rally, state Congress chief Raghuveera Reddy said.

The Congress has also invited YSR Congress Party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan to the meeting.

It will be the first major public meeting to be addressed by a national Congress leader in Andhra Pradesh since 2014, when the party was wiped out in the simultaneous elections to the assembly and Lok Sabha.

Blamed for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the Congress faced the worst rout in its former stronghold as it could not win even a single assembly or Lok Sabha seat in the state.

Rahul Gandhi had visited the state in 2015 but it was confined to a ‘padyatra’ in Anantapur district to highlight the problems of farmers and women.

During the debate on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in Parliament, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had promised the special status to Andhra Pradesh for five years.

Both the BJP and TDP, during the 2014 elections, had promised the special status for 10 years.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre, however, has ruled out the special status, citing a report of the 14th Finance Commission, which states that no state other than north-eastern and hilly states could be given this status.

The Centre last year announced a special package, instead of special status, for Andhra Pradesh.

Since then, the BJP-TDP alliance has been facing criticism from opposition and other organisations.

Rahul Gandhi’s public meeting in Sangareddy in Telangana on Thursday drew huge public response, even beyond the party’s own expectations. This was the first major show of strength by the Congress in three years in Telangana.

The Congress leader targeted Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for perpetrating ‘family rule’ and for failing to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of the people of Telangana.

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Jagan reminds Modi about Special status

YSR Congress Party (YCP) supremo and Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Assembly Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy who was denied appointments last month in Delhi finally met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. He raised several issues in the letter addressed to Modi including defections of MLAs, Agri Gold Scam, Chilli farmer woes and granting special category status. YCP has published a book “Emperor of Corruption” detailing all the corrupt and mal-practices of Chandrababu Naidu

Special category status

Jagan reminded Modi about BJP’s major poll promise of granting special category status to AP. He said that the members of 14th finance commission confirmed that it has removed the distinction between SCS and others only in regard with post revenue deficit grants and not erstwhile issues. The YCP chief said even in the 14th finance commission award, SCS states are getting their share of grants and devolution including 100percent tax exemption and special provisions in the GST bill. He requested him to honour the commitment put forth in the BJP Manifesto.

Owes of Chilly farmers

Welcoming the move taken by the NDA government to purchase chilly at 5000 rupees per quintal, Jagan urged that the state government should come forward to add 3000 rupees and purchase chilly at 8000 rupees per quintal along with 1250rupees per quintal for transportation and incidental charges. He also requested to increase the quantity to be purchased from 10% of produce to 50% to create competitive market.

Defections of MLAs

Jagan mentioned that 20members from his party have defected to the ruling TDP and petitions requesting disqualification under 10th schedule of the constitution are spending with Speaker. He said that the anti-defection law has been ridiculed and requested Modi’s intervention. Ironically, Jagan alleged that TDP is indulging in unabated corruption in irrigation contracts, coal and power purchases and temple lands. He did mention about “vote for note” case.

Agrigold scam

Jagan accused the government of taking undue advantage in selling the Agrigold properties. He alleged that the CID investigation is skewed and requested for CBI investigation. He said that the state is trying to protect few Ministers, MPs and influential people.

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Call Money: End of Jagan’s Fight for Special Status ?

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As the issue of special status to Andhra Pradesh ran out of steam, Call Money has become cause célèbre for Opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy. The first day of the winter session today had successfully been exploited by YSR party. This issue had been used to attack chief minister Naidu in every conceivable way. Unlike, special status issue, where Naidu could at best be criticized for not putting enough pressure on centre for getting special status, Call Money racket has all the elements of a masala movie to make a villain out of Naidu. Simple Call Money is not an effective weapon to hit at the CM. Because, lending money at exorbitant rate of interest is not new in any part of the country. The private money lenders had already been blamed for the suicides of farmers long back. The element of sex racket has made the call money all the more powerful. Jagan is in a hurry to do as much damage to his bête noire as possible before the links of other political leaders with call money connections are exposed. Because, police records say no party is free from call money taint.

But, today Jagan attacked chief minister Naidu with choicest epithets to show him as the man responsible for the whole racket. Addressing media, after the adjournment of Assembly for the day, the Opposition Leader Jaganmohan Reddy called Chandrababu Naidu ” Call Babu, Money Babu and Sex Racket Babu. He said today’s Assembly looked worse than the Kaurava Sabha and Dusshasana Sabha. He alleged that the Call Money cum Sex Racket had the direct blessings of chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. He said his party had in its possession photographs of Chandrababu Naidu with the accused of the Call Money racket. He displayed some photographs for the benefit of media. He alleged that Ambedkar reference was taken only to distract the people’s attention from the real issue.

Even though many TDP MLAs and MLCs had their fingers in the racket, Naidu had no courage to touch upon them, he alleged. ” Naidu is leaving no stone unturned to divert the people’s attention away from the sex racket. He has no right to continue in power even for a day,” he said and added that his party MLAs Sivaprasada Reddy and Ramalingeswar Rao had been suspended simply because they questioned Naidu’s role in the call money racket. Jagan even alleged that Chandrababu Naidu was getting benefited from land , sand and sex mafia to show that the issue is of much more important than the special status to AP.

In the meantime, the special status issue has got reduced to a small dharna near Gandhi statue in Parliament House by YSRC MPs today.

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Special Status: Back to Jantar Mantar

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With Jagan falling silent following the failed indefinite fast on Special Status demand, Andhra Pradesh Pratyeka Hoda Vibhajana Hameela Sadhana Samithi, an organization of intellectuals from the state,  is  planning to carry forward the movement. The intensity of the special status movement  has suddenly got weakened with drought and floods taking the centre stage. Jagan’s adventurist fast also affected the activities which led the movement to a blind alley. Now the  Samithi is attempting keep the flag flutter with a dharna in the national capital.

The organization  is preparing to stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on December 7,  during the winter session of the parliament. This is second major program in Delhi for special status, the first being the deeksha by YSRC president YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

Samithi president Chalasani Srinivas, convener and former MLA K Ramakrishna and secretary Karem Shivaji said people from various walks of life would reach New Delhi to voice their protest  against the inaction of the  Centre on the demand for special status.

“Even after 18 months, not even five per cent of assurances included in the State Reorganization Act and the promises made by the Prime Minister on the floor of Rajya Sabha have been implemented. Greater the delay, more will be loss to younger generation in terms of education, employment generation in the State left high and dry with no capital, resources or industries,” they said in Vijayawada.

Having seen no progress in the efforts of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Leader of Opposition Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy to force the centre declare special status, and to implement the other important provisions incorporated in the Reorganization Act-2014 , they said, the  people were growing restive.

They demanded that Centre should immediately announce special category status with incentives, special package for Rayalaseema and North Andhra, release of funds for Polavaram and Amaravati, before it was too late.

 

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How to defeat BJP in Bihar from Andhra Pradesh ?

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Andhra Pradesh Congress, which of late practicing non-conventional political campaigns, is all set to to work to the defeat of Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar elections sitting in Hyderabad. The decision stems from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s failure to announce the special category state status which Modi himself assured during the 2014 election campaign in Andhra Pradesh.  Entire Telugu population of Andhra Pradesh expected that Modi would announce something- if not a Bihar-like package, to the state of Andhr Pradesh during his participation in the foundation laying ceremony of new capital Amaravati on October 22, 2015.  But the Congress said the PM had disappointed. So, the Andhra Pradesh Congress led by PCC president N Raghuvira Reddy took a pledge today to work to defeat the BJP in Bihar.

The party chose a novel method of campaign against BJP in Bihar. According to APCC general secretary Janga Gawtham,  PCC President  N.Raghuveera Reddy & other senior congress leaders will appeal to the Bihar bound commuters travelling by trains from and through Secunderabad to Patna to vote against BJP & N.D.A in third phase of elections.

” This is  in protest for not according special status to Andhra Pradesh  by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. All available Senior Congress Leaders will go to Secunderabad railway station on Sunday  and meet the passengers in Bihar bound trains from 9 am to 10 am at Secunderabad railway station on platform no 10,” Gautham told telugu 360.com.

“Thousands of Bihar  migrants are living in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Many of them travel to their home state every day.  So, we want to tell them how untrustworthy the Prime Minister is . We also tell how he promised special category status to Andhra Pradesh in the campain in 2014 and ditched the people after getting votes. Our leaders will enlighten the  Bihari people on the wicked character of BJP,” Gawtham said.

 

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Jagan fast deferred; YSRCP to move court Monday

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The opposition YSR Congress Party has postponed the proposed indefinite fast by president YS Jaganmohan Reddy, which was to commence from Saturday from Guntur. The fast is meant to exert pressure on the centre to bestow special status on Andhra Pradesh as assured by the governments- both UPA and NDA. The deeksha is the first step to launch a Telangana like movement for the special status and against TDP governments for its failure to get the special status announced by the NDA government in which it was a partner. The YSRC political advisory committee, which met here, in the backdrop of the denial of permission by Guntur police and Hyderabad High Court’s refusal to hear the House Motion, decided to put off the fast for some time. While refusing to entertain the House Motion on Friday, a Holiday, the court advised the party to file a regular petition.

“We will file the petition in court on Monday. Chandrababu Naidu himself has gone on fast at Delhi and also at MLA quarters and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa went on a hunger strike on the Cauvery water issue. We have full faith in judiciary and the fast will be taken up once we get a clearance from the court. Till such a date, the indefinite fast stands postponed,” YSRC deputy floor leader in the Assembly P Ramachandra Reddy said. The party will announce the fresh date for the deeksha and the course of action depending upon the orders from the court.

Putting the chief minister Naidu’s government on notice, Jagan announced on the floor of the House that he would sit on indefinite fast if Naidu failed to get the special status accorded to the state in 15 days. First it was decided to take up the Deeksha from second week. Later because of Vinakayaka Chavithi and Bakrid it was postponed to September 26. But, citing possible dislocation the Deeksha would cause to the traffic and Ganesh Nimajjan procesion, Guntur police denied permission.

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Jagan exhorts students to fight for special status

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YSRCP president and Opposition leader in Assembly YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is on a mission to build a Telangana-like students movement for achieving special status today called upon the students in Vizag to fight for the special status. This is his second interaction with students in a program called “Yuva Bheri” the first being with the students of SV University. Reiterating his oft repeated slogan that no special status means no jobs and no future. ” Special status is the only hope for getting jobs. Chandrababu Naidu is not able to fight for the special status for political reasons. The reason is to save his skin from the cash-for-vote scam case. Chandrababu Naidu had attempted to buy Telangana MLAs with the money he took as bribe from the projects like Pattiseema and got caught red-handedly while offering money. To bail himself out of this case, Naidu had to crawl before the NDA government. He sold out the interests of the state for his personal gains,” Jagan said.

To cover up his sell out to centre, Jagan said, Naidu was preaching that Special Status was not panacea and 14th finance commission was opposed to it etc. According to Jagan the 14 th finance commission had nothing to with special status. In the past 15 months, Jagan said, not a single job had been offered in the state and on the other hand many contract employees were losing their jobs. With special status alone Andhra could become number one state and enter the orbit of development and job creation.

“There are nearly 1.42 lakh vacancies in government. There are about 5,000 jobs in the universities. Chandrabu Naidu doesn’t want to fill up these vacancies. Because, he has devised a plan to undermine the universities and encourage the private universities. The students, who appeared for the DSC have no chance of getting the teacher posts,” he said painting a gloomy picture about the job scenario in Andhra Pradesh. He exhorted the student who attended the Yuva Bheri to question Chandrababu Naidu about the special status to Andhra Pradesh.

” He doesn’t fight for the special status. We have to build a movement and exert pressure on the centre to get the special status accorded to the state. Then only we will get the ample job opportunities,” Jagan said.

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SMS : AP Congress’ new tool of protest

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After filing cases against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu for backing out on the assurance of according special category status to Andhra Pradesh, state Congress is launching SMS movement.

Party’s frontal organizagions NSUI and Youth Congress will mobilize youth and students across the state to send text messages to chief minister Naidu, central ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Ashoka Gajapati Raju, Nirmala Sitaraman and Sujana Chowdary demanding them to fight for getting special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

It was decided today in a meeting of NSUI and Youth Congress in which APCC president Raghuvira Reddy was also present. The slogans 1. We demand Special Status for AP 2. We demand Special Package for Rayalaseema & Uttarandhra 3. We demand completion of Polavaram Project, will be texted to the ministers in thousands.

The ten-day program will be launched by PCC president Raghuvira Reddy on September 23 from Vizag city. The party will ask the youth and students from educational institutions, bus stands, railway stations, city junctions, markets to send the SMS to CM and all union ministers connected to Andhra in Modi council of ministers.They will explain the student and youth how the special status is intricately connected to the their future and request them to send SMS the CM and central minister who can influence the centre.

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Doors close on special status?

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The coveted number two position of Andhra Pradesh with respect to the ease in doing business among the 32 state and union territories appears to have closed the doors for the state to demand the special category state (SCS) status once for all. The new rank, the result of the study done by World Bank Group in association with the CII and FICCI and audited by KPMG, has certainly made Andhra Pradesh a difficult case for the SCS.

The rank is given based on the studies of certain indicators which play crucial role in starting a business in India. The indicators are: setting up a business, getting electricity, allotment of land and obtaining construction permit, complying with environment procedures, complying with labour regulations, obtaining infrastructure related utilities, registering and complying with tax procedures, carrying out inspections and enforcing contracts etc. Coupled with massive projects underway such as World Class capital, coastal corridors, an airport in every district, string of ports along 900km-long coast make the SCS a far cry for AP.

If we take the criteria the National Development Council, the authority that accords special category status, follows to declare a state as SCS, the new rank Andhra Pradesh achieved has made the state most unlikely candidate for SCS.

The criteria for according SCS include:
(i) hilly and difficult terrain,
(ii) low population density and/or sizable share of tribal population,
(iii) strategic location along borders with neighboring countries,
(iv) economic and infrastructural backwardness, and
(v) non-viable nature of state finances.

According to a “Report of the committee for evolving a composite development index of states” (2013) of ministry of finance, government of India, states under this category have a low resource base and are not in a position to mobilize resources for their developmental needs even though the per capita income of some of these states is relatively high.

As on today the states which have been accorded special Category States are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.

Andhra with strong investment-attractive features and resource base may not pass the muster for the SCS despite war bugle sounded by opposition leader Jagan and other opposition parties. The positive investment environment might be the reason for Modi government’s silence on bestowing the SCS on Andhra Pradesh.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

House adopts spl-status resolution after a bitter fight

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Andhra Pradesh Assembly today witnessed unprecedented bitterness between the ruling and opposition sides with both sides hurling challenges and counter challenges about their character. The downside of the debate is the involvement of leader of the house and opposition leader in this un-parliamentary war of words. Both of them washed their dirty linen in the house to the embarrassment of the public. While the debate was meant for getting special status to the state, the arguments were about who was more corrupt and dishonest. Normally, while leaders watch, members of the respective sides fight. Today in AP assembly, the responsibility of converting the house into the theater of unwholesome accusations was taken over by opposition leader Jagan and leader of the house Chandrababu Naidu equally. They excelled each other in the drama.

Jagan said Naidu’s name appeared 22 times in the ACB charge-sheet and Naidu retorted that a man, who presents himself every Friday before CBI court in 15 cases, had no right to talk about him. Ultimately, the debate on the special category status to state produced more heat than light. The resolution urging the centre to bestow the special status was adopted at 2.40 PM.

After one adjournment this morning for 15 minutes, the house reassembled at 10.30 am. And speaker asked the CM to make the statement of special status which was inconclusive yesterday. Following is the time line of the proceedings of AP Assembly.

10.30 am : Chief Minister Naidu begins his statement in on Special Category Status to the State.

10.36 am : Leader of Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy raises objection to Naidu’s speech and says CMs speech does not match with the note circulated in the House.

10. 46 am : Fierce exchange of accusatins takes place between Jagan and on the note on Special Category Status.

10.48 am : Naidu grills Jagan by stating that he can an understand predicament of first-timers (Jagan is a first-time MLA) in the Assembly in coming to grips with his statement.

11.25 am : Naidu expresses willingness to resolve the contentious issues between his Government and the Telangana State through a dialogue.

11.50 am : Jaganmohan Reddy starts debate Chandrababu Naidu’s statement. He provokes Naidu by commenting that the CM was unaware of several facts related to State bifurcation. He calls Naidu outdated politician.

12.15 pm : Jagan says giving Special Category Status is Union Cabinet’s prerogative, but in case of A.P. it has not materialized though it is essentially an executive decision

1.00 pm : War of words intensifies in the House. Verbal dual between Opposition Leader Jaganmohan Reddy and TDP/BJP MLA ensues.

1.00 pm : TDP MLA Dhulipalla Narendra takes objection to Jagan’s calling chief minister Naidu an outdated political leader. YSRCP MLAs rush towards Dhulipalla and TDP MLAs also try to enter the well. They pushes and shoved each other.

1.10 pm. : Chief Minister asks TDP MLAs to resume their seats and behave properly. He pleads his flock to ignore unparliamentarily comments by some people.

1. 15 pm : CM laments that “I was not given mike while in the Opposition, but we did not behave this way ( of Jagan).

1.20 pm : Social welfare minister Ravela Kishore Babu raises Jagan’s wealth t and asks him to give back to society the Rs 1 lakh crore Jagan allegedly amassed.

1.21 pm : Ravela says they will give the Mike to Jagan for speaking on special category status if he returned the money. Many others said Jagan had colluded with TRS government in Telangana. He wrote a letter to TRS recommending somebody to make an MLA. He met Harish Rao also in a Hotel. They said Jagan was behaving as if he was in Telangana. He never defended the TDP government when AP telephones tapped.

1.22 pm : Jagan says he will resign if they prove the charges against him. 1.30 pm. : Jagan asks CM to give Centre time frame of a month or 15 days to accord Special Category Status. Naidu was not able to fight because he compromised with centre on cash-for-vote scam.

1.40 pm : Chandrababu Naidu nobody can harm him. “Your father also took cases against to Supreme Court. Nothing had happened. You also can’t do anything against me. I am like fire.

The same continued till 2.40 when the resolution was tabled for the approval of the House. It was approved and the speaker adjourned the House till tomorrow.

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Special Status suicides spread in Andhra

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The dreaded disease of killing oneself in the name of special status appears to be becoming endemic ​in Andhra Pradesh. On Thursday, two people committed suicide for the sake of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, taking the toll to five since Muni Koti committed self-immolation in Tirupati on August 10.

On Thursday while a 55-year old Ramisetty Laxmaiah hanged himself in Vedayapalem in Nellore district with a suicide note, a youth by name Rajasekhar from Chintalapudi, East Godavari district committed suicide​ expressing disappointment over the denial of special status. With this the number of suicides reached to three after CM-Modi meeting failed to reassure people on the much talked about special category status to Andhra Pradesh. Also, on Wednesday, Chavali Subbarao, an electrician from Pamarru, took his life for the​ same cause of special status.
This type disturbing trend is unheard of in Seemaandhra region while Telangana witnessed a spate of suicides of youth during the T-movement. Political heat and undue stress the parties are laying on the special status as if there is no life without special status seems to be working on these innocent public who are already neck-deep in the poverty. It is high time the political parties stopped dubbing the special status as​ the sole savior of Andhra Pradesh and stop playing with emotions of people.

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Spl Status: Cong mulls over privilege motion against Modi

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A party defeated in elections is is not finished in politics. This applies to the Congress well. It’s proven in just concluded Lok Sabha when it forced the ruling NDA coalition to take up the Lalit gate and Sushma Swaraj connection for a debate in the House. The party successfully cornered BJP and sent across a message that it could twist the ruling party’s arms.
Because of Congress’s strategy, the NDA could not push through the land acquisition and GST bills.
And also, the Grand Old Party (GOP) has majority in Rajyasabha to stall the moves of BJP there.

Now, the Congress members from Andhra Pradesh are mulling over moving a privilege motion against the Prime Minister Modi government on the issue of bestowing special category status on Andhra Pradesh.
Former minister and Rajya Sabha member JD Seelam said they were planning to move privilege motion in the Upper House “for not honoring the decision taken by the then Union Cabinet headed by Manmohan Singh, which had initiated the process of according special status to AP”.

According to Seelam the decision of previous government led by rival coalition were not supposed to be discarded by the next government.

“The decision taken by the Manmohan Singh government with regard to granting special status to AP is binding on the present NDA government.The NDA government has to honor the decision of the the then Union Cabinet.It can’t be set aside just because it was the decision of the previous cabinet,” Seelam said.
He rapped Modi government for using 14th finance commission recommendations to deny special status to AP.

“The 14th Finance Commission’s recommendations are not at all binding on the Union Cabinet,” he added.

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Special Status: Naidu’s moment of truth arrives

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The proposed summit meeting between Prime Minister Modi and AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, even though it is postponed today, is crucial for the smooth sailing of Naidu’s government in the rest of tenure.

The meeting originally scheduled at 4 pm on August 20,2015 is postponed. According to AP chief minnister’s office, tomorrow’s meeting was cancelled due to unavoidable reasons by the PMO itself.
The CMO sources said the PMO had indicated August 25, 28,29 and 31 as possible dates for the meeting and asked the CM to choose one of these dates for the meeting.

The date is not important here. If not on August 20, the PMO and CM have invariably to meet on some other date in the next couple of days. They can’t abdicate their responsibility to clinch the issue as five crore people of Andhra Pradesh are eagerly waiting for the outcome of the meeting.

So far, Naidu used to buy time stating that he would persuade Prime Minister to announce a package if not the special category status. Now a moment of truth has arrived for Naidu to prove his persuasive skills at 7, RCR. Bihar package worth Rs 1.25 lakh crore, pushed Naidu into a situation where he has to settle the “special” issue this way or that way.

Now, he can’t hoodwink the people of Andhra Pradesh stating that he is still talking to prime minister or his central ministers are on job or reiterating that Centre has the responsibility to help the state etc. And also, it is high time that BJP demonstrated its sincerity in helping a state where, of course, the party has never been a force. In fact, Bihar package has earned Modi more brickbats than bouquets as this was announced when the state is set to enter election mode.

Social media is agog with jokes on Modi. So, similarly it all depends on Naidu’s ability to extract some benefit, lest he would also become a butt of joke in social media and punching bag in state Politics.

Already, PCC president Raghuvira Reddy, sarcastically showered blessings on Naidu and hoped that the CM would not come back with his hands empty from his summit meeting with PM. AP Congress, though absent in Assembly, has a huge presence outside the house and has enough energies to create trouble for Naidu. YSRC Congress took a different angle, stating that he was going to Delhi only to save his skin in the cash-for-vote scam and not for fetching anything to the state. Naidu has to prove that he had no other business in Delhi than forcing the PM to announce what has been promised for the state.

Left parties also waiting for an opportunity to pounce upon Naidu for slowly transforming yellow TDP into saffron . So, Naidu’s meeting with PM at the month-end has the potential to make or mar the future of TDP in the state.

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Modi-Naidu meeting fixed on August 20

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has responded positively to the SOS sent by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and asked the later to come over to New Delhi on August 20 to discuss the pressing issues of Andhra Pradesh.

In the growing hostile environment following the union minister Rao Inderjit Singh’s open assertion that there would be no special status to the Andhra Pradesh, Naidu wants to get some assurance on economic package in lieu of special status from the centre.

The situation has turned volatile with the self-immolation of Congress worker Muni Koti demanding special status to Andhra Pradesh. Centre’s assurance is necessary to silence the ferocious opposition party leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy in the ensuing Assembly session, likely to be summoned at end of August. Jagan has already called for a bandh on August 29, demanding conferment of special category status on Andhra Pradesh by the centre.

All opposition parties are intensifying their agitation on the eve of Assembly so session.
So, Naidu faxed a letter to Prime Minister seeking audience for the discussion of the situation in the state.

According to CMO, Prime Minister’s office is said to have fixed the meeting of PM and CM at 4 PM on August 20.

Naidu is going to submit the list of pending issues like financial assistance to the development of capital, to meet the revenue deficit, announcing Vizag railway zone etc.
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In order to blunt the YSRP’s attempt to foment trouble in Rayalaseema in the name of special status, Naidu today launched a slew of projects in Kurnool district. The projects include in ultra mega food park at Tangedancha (pic.above), Industrial hub at Orvakal. Later, he reviewed the progress of irrigation projects at Kadapa. The objective of these hectic tour is to disengage Rayalaseema people , especially, people from Kurnool, from the anti-government activities of YSR Congress. in Kurnool, out 14 Assembly seats, TDP won just three while YSRCP bagged 13.

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“TDP govt. spell out its stand on spl status”

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Centre made it amply clear to YSR Congress that state doesn’t fulfill the criteria for according special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Union ministry of industrial policy and development clarified this in a letter to party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

Stating this YSR Congress has demanded the TDP government to spell out its stand on the Special Status in wake of this, which clearly stated that the issue does not arise.

“In reply to the letter written by YS Jaganmohan Reddy to the Prime Minister on the special status, the department of industrial policy and development has replied that the package was already included and the State does not fulfill the criteria for getting any special incentives,’ Party MP Peddireddy Mithun Reddy said in Hyderabad Saturday.

The letter also said that industrial development is a state subject and the measures taken by the state will be supplemented on merits.

This clearly shows that there is no special package for the state and the industrial incentives cannot flow into the State.

This is time to assert ourselves and fight for the rights which YSR Congress is doing.
‘Where does TDP stand on the issue needs to be known,” he said.

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Package is no substitute for special status : YSRC

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Responding to the toning down of demand for special category state status by chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, YSR Congress today categorically said there was no substitute for special status.
The party said it would not settle for anything short of Special Status to Andhra Pradesh and stated that TDP Government was trying to prepare people in the direction of some alternative package.

“Special package can never be a substitute for special status and Chief Ministers made an attempt to dilute the issue and asked the people to settle for less. This will not be tolerated as there would be a yawning gap between the two,” party senior leader Dharmana Prasada Rao remarked on Thursday.

Strongly reacting to the remarks of Chief Minister made at a press conference at Vijayawada, he said the remark clearly indicated that the CM was leaning towards settling for a special package.
“We won’t tolerate this and fight it tooth and nail,” Dharmana announced.

The TDP leaders, who called on finance minister Arun Jaitley a day after YS Jaganmohan Reddy’ dharna in national capital, came out silently and started harping on special package, he alleged. “Many states have benefited from the special category status. AP will also get an opportunity to forge ahead under special category status. We will condemn the TDP’s changed attitude towards special status,” he said.

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Special Status is not a cure-all pill : Naidu

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Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu for the first time made his mind clear on the special status.Confirming maverick JC Diwakar Reddy’s oft repeated assertion that special category status would not be bestowed on AP and chief minister Naidu’s knows this pretty well that the demand is a pie in the sky, Naidu said, though cautiously, that special category status was not a “cure-all” pill.

As we reported in these columns, Andhra Pradesh, whatever may be its problems, is not eligible for special category status. Mere hardship is not the qualification for getting special category status tag. The state should have natural, geographical, demographic and not easily surmountable problems to be categorized as special category state. So, instead of harping on special status, state should work for equivalent benefits. For political gains, definitely the issues provide the opposition a hard stick to hit at TDP government.

Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, who has been silent on the subject for long, for the first time, counseled caution and warned that stretching the demand for special category status too far may prove counterproductive.
addressing his first press conference in newly set up camp office in Vijayawada on Wednesday, Naidu said special category status should not be seen as the panacea of all ills and the state need more than this go overcome the problems division had thrown up to hit the highway of development.

Rapping the opposition parties for their attack on TDP-BJP combine, the chief minister said,” Don’t push the demand too far. If centre buckles under and accords the special status at the cost of our other demands for help like economic package to backward areas like Rayalaseema and North-coastal Andhra we will be at loss. I don’t want to forego the other assurances made in the AP reorganization Act, at the altar of special status.”

Naidu reiterated the TDP alliance with BJP would continue.Asking people against becoming cynical on NDA assistance to the state, the chief minister let us keep drawing centre’s attention to the problems and to honor its commitments made to the people of Andhra Pradesh.

He said the state should not be denied bigger benefits in lieu of special category status.
Naidu announced that he would release the fact-sheets on the problems and the need for liberal assistance from the centre etc.

He disclosed that he had spoken to PM, home minister, finance minister and BJP president and posted them with the developments in the state and need to honor the commitment made to the state.

He said the Prime Minister asked him come to Delhi after August 15 to discuss the matter. Stating that this would his ninth meeting with PM Modi, Naidu said every time he met he discussed threadbare the problems of the state like assistance to capital construction, bridging the revenue gap, economic package to Rayalaseema and North-coastal Andhra etc.

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