Andhra Pradesh will get special status if Congress wins in 2019, says Rahul Gandhi

Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that Andhra Pradesh will be accorded special status if the Congress party returns to power in 2019.

“Congress party has a very old and loving relationship with Andhra Pradesh. When the state of Andhra Pradesh was divided, the national government, the (then) Prime Minister of India (Manmohan Singh) made certain commitments to the people of Andhra Pradesh. The commitment of the Prime Minister of India was that Andhra Pradesh would be given special status for a period of five years,” Gandhi said while addressing a rally here.

“When this commitment was made, the current Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and his party (Bharatiya Janata Party) said that is not good enough, Andhra Pradesh should get special status for 10 years. It has been four years since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, and he has not taken one step forward to the commitment that the government of India made to the people of Andhra Pradesh… All the promises made to the people of Andhra Pradesh have been broken by Narendra Modi,” Gandhi added. The Congress president also claimed that Prime Minister Modi “does not understand that the promise to Andhra Pradesh was made by (former) Prime Minister of India (Manmohan Singh).”

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“When the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, does not give Andhra Pradesh its right, he disrespects the people and the leaders of the state from the past. Narendra Modi made many, many promises after 2014 – Rs 15 lakh in each bank account, correct prices to farmers, two crore jobs to every youngster in this country,” he said.

“I am not in the habit of making false promises. I am not going to come here like Narendra Modi and lie to you. But I will tell you one thing that the moment the Congress party comes to power in 2019, it is our commitment to the people of Andhra Pradesh. We respect the people of Andhra Pradesh and the first thing we will do is we will give you special status. I want to be very clear with you. This is not a question of money, this is not a gift that the government of India is going to give to the people of Andhra. This is a debt that the people of Andhra Pradesh are owed by the Prime Minister of India,” he added.

Citing examples of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya and the controversial Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi criticised the Prime Minister and called him “corrupt.” “The Prime Minister told the whole country that he does not want to be the Prime Minister and wants to be the ‘Chowkidar’ (watchman). It’s an interesting type of ‘Chowkidar’. He is the type of ‘Chowkidar’, who opens the door at night and let the thieves in to the house. Vijay Mallya stole Rs 9,000 crore from Indian banks. Before he ran away to London, he met the Finance Minister of India (Arun Jaitley). The Finance Minister himself said that Vijay Mallya came met me and said that he is leaving to go to London,” Rahul said.

“The whole country knows that Vijay Mallya is a thief…  There is only one possibility and that is that the Finance Minister allowed Mallya to leave the country in exchange for something. A deal was made by the Finance Minister and Vijay Mallya. And in the meantime, the Prime Minister, who claims to be the ‘Chowkidar’, has not one word to say. At a minimum, if the Prime Minister was really the ‘Chowkidar’, he should have removed the Finance Minister. But he himself is corrupt,” Rahul added.


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