All praise for Modi, no word on Special Status
- Special Package is better, asserts Jaitley
Vijayawada: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has all the praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi but no assurance on granting Special Status to AP despite a strong demand from opposition parties.
Addressing a party workersa�� meeting in Vijayawada on Friday, Jaitley asserted that the country has a strong leadership led by Modi who has established a new political culture inA�India. Modi was constantly working for development of the country and had the courage to take tough decisions in the larger interests of the country, he said. Referring to national security, the Union minister said that the countrya��s security would not be comprised at any cost.
Recalling his association with Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu from his student days, Jaitley said it was Venkaiah, who always protected the interests of the residual State ofA�Andhra PradeshA�which has deficit budget. The Centre was extending all possible assistance to the state for its development through Special Assistance Package which is more than the help that comes in the case of Special Category status. He said the previous Congress-led UPA government at the Centre gave only Rs 69,298 croreA�in five yearsA�to then united Andhra Pradesh whereas the Modi government, after the statea��s bifurcation, would give Rs 2,03,174 croresA�in five yearsA�to help revenue-deficit AP.
Venkaiah Naidu, Ashok Gajapati Raju, Sujana Choudhary, AP State BJP president and MP Haribabu were among those present at the meeting. Earlier, Jaitley laid the foundation stone for the state administrative building complex at Lingayapalem under Talluru mandal inA�GunturA�district in Amaravati. The administrative block would be built in 950 acres at an estimated cost of Rs 5,600 crores.