The agitation by the MPs belonging to Andhra Pradesh, including that of the TDP and YSR Congress party, besides Congress MP K V P Ramachandra Rao, in the last two days seems have forced the Centre to go into the defensive mode.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called his cabinet colleague Y S Chowdary for a meeting to negotiate on the demands raised by the AP with regard to budgetary allocations, but the latter expressed his inability to control the MPs unless there was a concrete assurance from the Centre.
As a result, Modi asked finance minister Arun Jaitely to make a statement in the House. Jaitely said the Centre was committed to fulfilling all the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act.
He said since granting of special category status was not possible, the centre had announced a special financial package, which was being implemented in a gradual manner.
He sought to shift the blame on the Chandrababu Naidu government for the delay in release of the funds under the package as it sought the grants through Nabard, rather than the externally aided projects.
“There are some technical problems in routing the assistance through Nabard, because it would bring down the borrowing capacity of the state. Yet, we will resolve these technical issues and we will soon call AP finance secretary to Delhi to sort it out,” he said.
With regard to Vizag railway zone, Railway minister Piyush Goel said it was still under consideration and attributed the delay to the negotiations with neighbouring states, which might object to the same.