Chandrababu meets PM on Andhra's special status demand

New Delhi: Amid repeated assurances by the Centre in the Lok Sabha to consider the demand for a special status for Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. Naidu, who arrived here on Thursday, has also met President Pranab Mukherjee, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Naidu urged the Prime Minister to act fast on a special status for Andhra Pradesh, which suffered on the developmental front after the formation of Telangana in 2014, sources in the state's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), maintaining a wait-and-watch stance, said. Naidu told Modi that a special status was assured by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and endorsed by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. Moreover, all political parties, including the BJP, had supported the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill and thus all parties had responsibility towards Andhra Praesh, TDP sources said. The TDP is a National Democratic Alliance partner, and has two ministers Ashok Gajapathi Raju (Civil Aviation) and Y.S. Chowdary (Minister of State for Science and Technology) in the union council of ministers. Another regional outfit, YSR Congress Party, is also demanding the special status, forcing many TDP leaders and cadres to warn the NDA and BJP leadership they may walk out from the NDA if the demand is not met. "I have spoken to the Chief Minster (Naidu) and am confident we will find a satisfying solution. The Chief Minister will be in the capital to discuss the issue," Jaitley informed the Lok Sabha on Thursday. It is the second such assurance by the Finance Minister within two days. On August 2, Jaitley told the members that "the government stands by the commitments it has made in supporting Andhra Pradesh to the fullest". MoS Chowdary said on Tuesday that following assurance from Jaitley, his party has decided to adopt a wait-and-watch policy. On Friday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said in the Lok Sabha that the Centre is seized of the issue of the special status for Andhra Pradesh and will try to find a solution at the earliest.