Anantapur: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday targeted the Narendra Modi government for not grating special status to Andhra Pradesh.
Addressing a public meeting in Bandlapalli village in Anantapur district of the state, they said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had the responsibility to fulfil the promise made by the central government.
Singh recalled that when parliament was debating the issue of formation of Telangana state, he, as the then prime minister, had assured people of Andhra Pradesh that government will grant special category status.
"Unfortunately UPA lost elections in 2014 and the BJP government now in power in Delhi has refused to honour this solemn commitment I had made as prime minister to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh," he said.
Gandhi said the central government had promised that after bifurcation, it will extend all help to Andhra Pradesh and give it special category status.
"This promise was made by UPA government but it was not a mere UPA government. It was the government of India. The NDA government should realise that as the government of India its responsibility is to fulfill this commitment," Gandhi said.
He said it was the responsibility of Prime Minister Modi to fulfill the promise. "Perhaps for the first time in history of independent India that the central government made a promise to a state but is not fulfilling it," he remarked.
The meeting was organised by Congress to mark 10 years of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme or MGNREGA. It was in this village that the UPA had launched the scheme.
Top Congress leaders Meera Kumar, Ambika Soni, Oscar Fernandez, Anand Sharma, party's Andhra Pradesh unit chief Raghuveera Reddy and several former union ministers were present.