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Commitments will be honoured, Modi assures Chandrababu

BABU

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday assured Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu that all commitments made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act will be honoured.

Modi has directed the NITI Aayog to prepare a roadmap to fulfill the commitments made in the Act. Finance Minister Arun Jaitely said this after Naidu met Modi in the national capital.

Jaitely, who was also present in the meeting which lasted for one-and-half hours, said the issue of special status was discussed in detail.

The finance minister said all aspects of the issue will be taken into consideration. He said allocations for Polvaram project will continue.

Naidu sought early steps to grant special status and special package to the revenue-deficit state and hand-holding by the Centre till Andhra Pradesh achieves a level-playing field with other states.

Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is a partner in BJP-led NDA government, explained the difficulties faced by the state in finances, institutions, lack of infrastructure and the promises made in the Act as well as in parliament by then prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Stressing the need for special category status, the TDP chief said how it has become an emotive issue.

The other issues raised by Naidu included the Visakhapatnam-Chennai industrial corridor, the Chennai-Bengaluru industrial corridor, funds for the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project, industrial incentives, tax exemptions and grants for backward areas.

Naidu met Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Jaitley and Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu before meeting Modi.

The TDP chief, who is under pressure to get special status, urged the Centre to do justice to his state.

He had said earlier this month that he has so far spoken with the prime minister eight times over the issue of special status.