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AP feels package better than special status

The Centre is reportedly mulling options whether to give special status as was being sought by Chandrababu Naidu dispensation or convince the AP Chief Minister with some special package of financial assistance. Governor ESL Narasimhan’s report is said to be playing a key role for the Centre to take a final call on extending either special status or give just a financial package, it is learnt.

With no sings of a promise from the Centre in the near future and no concrete steps were taken so far, the Andhra Pradesh Government seems to have given up hopes on special status for the residual State. At this juncture, Chandrababu Naidu Cabinet is said to have given up hopes of getting special status. If the Centre opts to give a package, the Naidu Government was planning to seek a whopping Rs 50,000 crore financial assistance as special status might fetch around Rs 10,000 crore or above.

The Centre has been repeatedly saying it would give more funds to the State than it gets through special status. Keeping this in view, the Naidu government is all set to vouch for special package rather than building up ante against the Centre and strain its relations with BJP-led NDA Government.

While AP Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said they were expecting special status, Union Minister Sujana Chowdhary exuded confidence that they would get special package and additional funds. Keeping this ambiguity in view, it is clear that they would go in for a package for huge funds and ignore special status as it will fetch less money. “Though we are pressing for special status, the Centre is to take a final call followed by a report of expert committee on it”, Chowdhary said. Besides, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu too repeatedly told Parliament during Monsoon session that they are focusing on the issue. (NSS)