'Will Modi keep his promise of special status for Andhra and Bihar?': Congress

While the NDA government needs the Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party and Nitish Kumar's JD(U) seems a good time to resolve this matter

L–R: Narandra Modi, Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra, Nitish Kumar of Bihar (photo: @IDREESSABRAAR/X)
L–R: Narandra Modi, Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra, Nitish Kumar of Bihar (photo: @IDREESSABRAAR/X)

NH Digital

The Congress on Thursday, 6 June, asked former prime minister Narendra Modi whether he intends to fulfil his promise of granting 'special category' status to the states of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar in his next round as prime minister elect.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also took a swipe at the prime minister, saying it is being claimed repeatedly that the Modi 3.0 government will be formed, but the truth is that this time it will be 'Modi 1/3 government'.

In a video statement posted on X, Ramesh said the Congress has four questions for the prime minister — two pertaining to Andhra Pradesh and two for Bihar.

Ramesh started with the 'special category' question for Andhra Pradesh:

On 30 April 2014, in the holy city of Tirupati, you promised to give special category status to Andhra Pradesh so that massive investment comes in. It's been 10 years but it has not happened. Will that promise be fulfilled now?

He alleged, in addition, that former prime minister Narendra Modi has been trying to privatise the steel plant in Visakhapatnam.

'All parties are opposed to this. Will you stop the privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant now?' was Ramesh's second question.

Ramesh also asked Modi whether he would fulfil his 2014 election promise as prime minister and honour the 10-year-old demand of his ally and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar by giving 'special category' status to Bihar.

This has been a long-standing demand but Modi has not broken his silence on the topic while he was prime minister, Ramesh noted. Indeed, observers believe Nitish Kumar has been repeatedly rebuffed on this front.

Ramesh also noted that the Mahagathbandhan government of the RJD, the Congress and Nitish Kumar's JD(U) had gotten a caste survey done in Bihar. On this topic, he asked Narendra Modi:

We demanded that a nationwide caste census be carried out and even Nitish Kumar has supported this. Do you [Narendra Modi] promise to conduct caste census in the entire country like it has been done in Bihar?

The Congress' posers on Bihar and Andhra come after the BJP failed to attain absolute majority on its own in the Lok Sabha polls. However, it may still, as things stand, form the government on the back of its NDA allies.

With support from Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Nitish Kumar's JD(U), which have won 16 and 12 of the Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, respectively — and other alliance partners — the NDA has crossed the halfway mark.

The TDP and JD(U) have stated their support of the NDA coalition.

With inputs from PTI

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