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Wrote Many Letters Seeking Special Status To AP: Yanamala

Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu today indirectly took a dig at BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh for claiming that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu never sought special category status for the state. "Ever since the bifurcation (in June 2014), we have been applying pressure on the Centre for granting special category status as well as special financial package to AP.

We gave a number of representations, wrote many letters on these issues. The state Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution seeking special category status to the state," Yanamala recalled at a press conference here this evening. The BJP secretary had said yesterday that the AP Chief Minister only sought implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act "in letter and in spirit" and did not seek special category status. Singh also said the Centre would not accord special category status to AP though the state would be get "special" treatment.

The TDP, a partner in the NDA government at the Centre, took exception to the BJP leader's claims. Without naming Singh, though, the state Finance Minister said the Chief Minister would take up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at their meeting on the 17th. "We have been seeking Central assistance for various things. The Centre has been granting us funds and we are again seeking fresh grants. This is a continuous process," Yanamala pointed out. The Centre so far granted only Rs 6,400 crore as special assistance to the state, he added.

Noting that the Central devolution to states in taxes was enhanced to 42 per cent, on the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission, the Finance Minister said AP received Rs 1,000 crore less in the last financial year.

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