NITI Aayog vice-chairman says Andhra Pradesh needs no 'handholding'; Chandrababu Naidu hits back

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed 'pain' on Friday over NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar's observation that the state might not require handholding support to surmount the problems caused by the bifurcation.

PTI January 19, 2018 14:33:49 IST
NITI Aayog vice-chairman says Andhra Pradesh needs no 'handholding'; Chandrababu Naidu hits back

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed "pain" on Friday over NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar's observation that the state might not require handholding support to surmount the problems caused by the bifurcation.

The chief minister said the state would approach the Supreme Court, if required, to get its due, asserting that he was not seeking any "extra favour".

"After reading newspaper reports today, it pained me a bit. On Thursday, he (Rajiv Kumar) made that comment and at the same time Telangana chief minister (K Chandrasekhar Rao) also remarked that there was no comparison with Andhra Pradesh. This pained me," Naidu said.

NITI Aayog vicechairman says Andhra Pradesh needs no handholding Chandrababu Naidu hits back

File image of Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. AP

He was speaking at the second day session of the two-day conference of district collectors on Friday morning.

NITI Aayog vice-chairman, during his day-long visit to Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, observed that the state neither required handholding nor special category status (SCS) given its economic growth story.

"With an average per capita income higher than the national average, special status demand is...well, you should think about it," he also said.

Naidu pointed out, "Yes, even today the highest GSDP contribution in the country is ours, which means we are number one in (economic) growth. But the main problem is we are in the low base."

He said he is seeking the Centre's handholding till a level-playing field was established.

"I am not asking any extra favour. Once you give me level-playing field, then we can fight, we can contribute for the nation building. I am taking this up with the Centre every time. If it does not happen...we will go to court on one or two issues," the chief minister said.

"We will go to Supreme Court, the highest in the country. We will list out all the injustices done to Andhra Pradesh (on account of bifurcation). We will take whatever the Centre gives. Then we will move forward," Naidu asserted.

He said Andhra Pradesh hasn't yet recovered from the affects of bifurcation.

"Everybody is talking that injustice has been done to Andhra Pradesh. To recover from this and come up equally with other states, there are two ways. One, we have to work hard. Two, the Centre should cooperate in creating a level-playing field through handholding," he added.

Referring to the comments of his Telangana counterpart, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister said there was only one answer to it.

"Before and after 1995...analyse Hyderabad's growth...it becomes obvious," he said.

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