Hyderabad: Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said the financial package of Rs 2.25 lakh crore announced by the Centre for Andhra Pradesh will benefit the state more than the special category status being demanded by it.
"Financial assistance announced by the Centre to AP (for various projects), sanctioned and underway, will be worth Rs 2.25 lakh crore. The state will benefit from this special package more than the special status," the Information and Broadcasting Minister said here.
The special status would have brought development to only certain sectors whereas the financial package will result in speedy and overall development across Andhra Pradesh, he said.
Opposition, particularly Congress is misguiding the people on the issue, and as per the terms of the 14th Finance Commission, special status can no longer be granted, he said.
Saying he was "hurt" by the "harsh" words spoken against him by the opposition in the past few days, Venkaiah reminded that he was the only person who tried to ensure that AP was duly compensated when the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 was discussed in the Parliament.
"But (my) suggestions were not included in the Act," he added.
He sought to know why Congress did not incorporate the provision of special category status for AP in this Act (which created the new state of Telangana) and questioned what the party had given to AP during the ten years of UPA government.
Enlisting various projects announced by the Centre for Andhra Pradesh, he said, "Perhaps they (opposition) are wondering that the Central government is taking all the necessary measures within two years when it is supposed to be done over ten years."
The Centre on Wednesday announced a financial package for Andhra Pradesh which includes full Central funding of Pollavaram irrigation project, but stopped short of giving the state a special category status.