No mention of special status to AP in Budget: State’s Opposition protests

The opposition YSR Congress, Congress and Left parties in Andhra Pradesh on Monday alleged that the Union Budget was a disappointment, contending that it made no major announcement on the promises made to the state, including special status.

“The Union Budget is highly disappointing for the state (AP) as it has no mention of special category status which was the assurance given in the State Reorganisation Act and the state too has failed to persuade its coalition partner (BJP) on the issue,” YSR Congress MLA Rajendranath Reddy told reporters in Hyderabad.

The other figures presented by the Union Finance Minister have been “simply rhetoric” and failed to impress the core sectors, he alleged.

“Though it was time and again mentioned that the focus of the budget is on agriculture and rural development, there were no adequate allocations. There was no mention of hike in MSP, input subsidy and increasing the crop insurance to bring in more number of farmers under the insurance cover.

“Only 40 per cent of the farmers now have an insurance cover and nothing was mentioned about roping in more farmers to the safety net,” Reddy said.

The banking sector is bearing the brunt with increasing NPAs and no concrete plan was announced as to how the government intends to bring down the stressed assets, the YSRC MLA maintained.

Alleging that the Union Budget was a big letdown for AP, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council C Ramachandraiah (Congress) said the budget only made meagre allocations to major projects in the state, including Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project, metro rail projects in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.

Demanding that the Union Ministers from the state quit their posts in protest against the “discrimination and vindictive attitude” towards AP, he said the Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu should convene an all-party meeting to deliberate on the issue.

Alleging that the budget had nothing concrete for AP and Telangana, CPI leader K Narayana said the budget is high on rhetoric and low on substance.

The promise of special status was made to Seemandhra (new Andhra Pradesh) on the floor of Parliament by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when the Telangana Bill was passed.