PM meets Andhra BJP leaders, urges them to work for state’s development

New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) On a day Andhra Pradesh saw a shutdown after the central government announced a special package for it rather than the special status it was demanding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met a delegation of BJP leaders from the state and urged them to work for its development.

“A BJP delegation from Andhra Pradesh met the Prime Minister,” said a brief tweet from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The Andhra Pradesh leaders thanked Prime Minister for the special package, party sources said.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday announced a special economic package for Andhra Pradesh, clarifying that the state will get monetary advantage equivalent to what it would have got if it was accorded the special category status.

Jaitley had, however, said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement made in Rajya Sabha on February 20, 2014 for according special status to Andhra Pradesh cannot be implemented as the 14th Finance Commission has recommended that the special category status can be given to only hill and northeastern states.

“A total of Rs 22,113 crore is to be paid to Andhra Pradesh as revenue deficit grant for the five year period from 2015-2020,” a BJP source said.

The central government’s financial package also includes a special assistance, a series of tax concessions and full funding of Pollavaram irrigation project.

But the decling of special category status, which has been demanded by all parties in the state including the NDA constituent, the ruling TDP of N. Chandrababu Naidu, has been resented strongly.

A day-long shutdown across the state called by the opposition parties hit the normal life on Saturday and led to large-scale arrests of protesters as well.

During his meeting with BJP leaders from the state, Modi said there was need for concerted efforts to work for development in Andhra Pradesh and urged his party leaders to work in that endeavour.

The Andhra Pradesh leaders led by Hari Babu also met party chief Amit Shah and thanked him for the special package, party sources said.

–IANS

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