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Rahul Gandhi promises special status to AP if Congress voted to power in 2019

The Congress vice president was addressing a public meeting organised by Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee in Guntur

india Updated: Jun 05, 2017 00:26 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Rahul Gandhi,Andhra Pradesh,Andhra Pradesh special category status
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressing the media at party office in Chennai on June 4.(PTI Photo)

The Congress party, if voted to power in the 2019 general elections, will grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh on top priority, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said on Sunday.

Addressing a public meeting organised by Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee in Guntur, Rahul expressed confidence that the Congress-led UPA would come to power at the Centre in 2019 and the first decision it will then take would be to grant special category status to AP.

“Special category status is a special right of the people of AP,” the Congress vice president asserted.

Gandhi reminded that while passing the AP Reorganisation Act in 2014, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a statement in Rajya Sabha that the Centre would give special category status to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh.

“However, the NDA government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party deliberately ignored the promise and finally put it on the back burner,” he alleged.

The Congress president also recalled the assurance given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a pre-election meeting in Tirupati that the NDA would fulfil the promise of granting special category status to AP.

“Modi always talks about protection of Hindu dharma. But, he ignored the promise he had given to the people in the presence of Lord Venkateshwara of Tirumala,” he said.

He questioned why TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy were not raising the issue of special category status with the Centre.

“Don’t they require the benefits to be accrued to the state, if the status is given?” he asked. He alleged that both Naidu and Jagan had surrendered to Modi because they were either afraid of him or had their own selfish interests. “But the Congress party will carry on the fight on behalf of the people to achieve their legitimate demand,” Gandhi said.

Samajwadi Party leader and former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav and CPI national secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy also took part in the public meeting.

First Published: Jun 04, 2017 22:49 IST