Guntur: On Tuesday (October 16), the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Centre would not grant Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh as it was proceeding to provide special treatment to the state and was committed to its development. 

The Union Minister was speaking at a gathering after laying the foundation stone for a new state headquarters of the BJP in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district. 

"I still don’t understand why he (Chandrababu Naidu) quit the NDA. The Centre did a lot for Andhra Pradesh and had been implementing the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 with full honesty and in letter and spirit. The state is being given a whopping Rs 2,06,910 crore in the form of the 14th Finance Commission grant in addition to the Rs 22,130 crore revenue deficit grant. Of the Rs 4,170 crore resource gap (caused by the bifurcation), Rs 3,979 crore has already been released. The state government is supposed to complete these projects promptly, but it is still stuck with SCS. It is only hoodwinking people and not completing the projects," Rajnath Singh said.

Special category status is a classification given by the Centre to help in the development of those states that face geographical and socio-economic disadvantages like strategic international borders, hilly terrains, tribal population, economic and infrastructural backwardness.

During a discussion on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, 2014, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured five years of SCS for the residual state of Andhra Pradesh, but the present BJP government has said that the 14th Finance Commission dropped the provision.

The demand for the special status to Andhra Pradesh has been powerfully connected by the ruling Telugu Desam Party and the opposition YSR Congress Party in the state. The Congress has also supported the demand for the state that will go to the Assembly polls along with Lok Sabha elections in 2019.