New Delhi, July 24: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said that Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh was a commitment made by him and he had expected his successor to fulfil it.
Addressing on Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act in the Rajya Sabha, Singh said he had made a “solemn commitment” on the floor of the House as prime minister of India on February 20, 2014.
“‘For purposes of Central assistance, Special Category Status will be extended to the successor state,’ this had been decided in view of the fact that the revenue collection in Hyderabad will accrue entirely to the state of newly created Telangana,” he said.
Singh further stated “Government is a continuing entity. Commitments made on the floor of the house have to be honoured and fulfilled. They are in nature of assurance on behalf of the Parliament. I had expected that my distinguished successor to fulfil the commitments I had made after consultations with his own colleagues”.
The former Prime Minister told the house that this commitment of Special Category Status to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh had been discussed with then Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley and several other senior BJP leaders.
Meanwhile, Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of deceit over the special category status to the state.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Azad said, “You (BJP) are deceiving the nation and you have deceived the Parliament decision. This government is deceiving the people of Andhra Pradesh. I take a strong plea on behalf of the opposition that the promises made by the previous government and the promises made by the present government should be fulfilled forthwith.”
“When UPA was in power, the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh had promised to give special status to Andhra Pradesh for a period of five years. However, leaders of the then opposition party, BJP, had opposed the same and asked them to give special status to the state for ten years and said that it will implement it if it comes to power” the Congress leader asserted adding we just want them to fulfill the promise they had made.
Azad also targetted the BJP over the special package issue to Andhra Pradesh.