Rajahmundry: After Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi made a strong pitch for grant of "special category" status to Andhra Pradesh and accused the state government of not pushing the matter seriously, the Chief Minister has said that he was confident of getting it operationalised with the help of Centre.
Addressing a meeting at the Government Arts College grounds here late last night, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said, "At least now they have remembered about special status to Andhra Pradesh. I am happy about it. I am confident we will get not only special status, but also full cooperation from the Central government for rebuilding the new state."
He also decried the Opposition's "attempts to mislead the people in the state."
"All this is to divert the attention of the people," Naidu said without taking any names.
The Chief Minister, who also participated in a seminar on 'Andhra history, culture and traditions' yesterday, urged people to take inspiration from great rulers of the past like Satavahanas, Pallavas, Kakatiyas, Reddi kings and Vizianagaram monarchs who built the state at various stages.
"Now Telugus have got two separate states. The bifurcation process was very humiliating. But we should draw inspiration from great leaders like Alluri Seetharama Raju who was a thorn in the flesh of the British, Potti Sriramulu who sacrificed his life for separate Andhra state and NT Rama Rao, who through Telugu Desam Party spread the greatness of Telugus far and wide," he stated.
He also reminded people to organise 'Pushkara Deeparathana' at their homes this evening to bid farewell to Godavari Mahapushkaram, which ends today.
Yesterday, Rahul hit out at the NDA government for not granting special category status to AP as promised by the UPA government at the time of bifurcation last year and said that the division of united Andhra Pradesh was a unanimous decision by all parties including TDP, YSRC, Congress and BJP.
"I would like to see special status for Andhra Pradesh and for Polavaram. Andhra Pradesh deserves special status, which is its right to get it...It's owed to the people of AP. With special status, AP can be number one state. We have provided for that (in the AP Reorganisation Act of 2014)," he had told reporters at Puttaparti town in Anantpur district.
"Everybody supported that agreement. Post bifurcation, the same people (those protesting the division later) made a turn-around.
"It's very sad...I don't understand why (YSRC chief) Jagan (Mohan Reddy), (Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu) Naidu are not pressurising the Centre (on the special status issue). It's key to AP. It's future of AP," he had said.