New Delhi: A group of Telegu Desam Party MPs demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday found support from Rahul Gandhi who reached joined the protest and assured to fulfil the demand if Congress is voted to power in next year's Lok Sabha elections.
The TDP MPs were demanding the special status for Andhra Pradesh as was promised at the time of creation of Telangana in 2014. At the time, special status was promised to Andhra Pradesh for foregoing Hyderabad and the eventual status to grant it was announced in Parliament and endorsed by political parties including BJP. Rahul Gandhi said it was time to fulfil the promise. "Our stance has been very clear we are in support of Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh. While we are for special category of Andhra Pradesh and the first thing we will do when we come to power in 2019 is give the state Special Category Status to Andhra," the Congress President said. "I am confident that if we stand together, we will convince the Government of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi that what is due to the people of Andhra Pradesh should be given to them at once."
Special status is accorded to a state on the basis of a variety of factors including widespread difficult terrain, economic and/or infrastructural backwardness, low population density etc. The primary benefit of being given a special status is an increase in allocation of funds and greater ease in getting loans.