Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had raised banner of revolt against the BJP leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling them betrayers as they denied the special category status to the State. Though he had agreed for the special package in the place of special category status, he is now gone back to the special category status demand smelling danger for his political fortunes in the State.
While fighting against the BJP, Chandrababu Naidu could mobilise the support of half-a-dozen Chief Ministers in the country. He is seen having comfortable relationship with the Chief Ministers of West Bengal (Mamata Benerji), Karnataka (Kumara Swamy), Kerala (Pinarayi Vijayan), Delhi (Arvind Kejriwal) and Pondicherry (Narayana Swamy). He is also working to rope in Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh soon and might win him too this time.
While their support is seen for anti-Modi politics, it is not clear yet whether they would also support Chandrababu Naidu in his fight for the special category status to Andhra Pradesh. There is resistance from other States in the Centre giving special category status to the State as they fear that the investments would move from their states to AP if special category status is given. The States like Karnataka and West Bengal are not prepared to back the special category status demand for Andhra Pradesh.
Karnataka fears migration of several companies from Bengaluru to Andhra Pradesh, if special category status is given as it carries industrial incentives. Kumara Swamy did not make any statement on the Special Category Status demand for Andhra Pradesh, though he is part of the Chandrababu Naidu-led Chief Ministers’ group.
Even Mamata Benerji is yet to make her stand clear on the AP’s demand. She also fears that industries from West Bengal would go to Andhra Pradesh if the special category status is given and she is not ready to back this demand if Chandrababu Naidu wants them.
As Chandrababu Naidu is set to raise the issue of special category status for AP at the NITI Aayog meeting on Sunday morning, it is to be seen whether these chief ministers would back him or remain silent. Chandrababu Naidu is now in Delhi with a 20-page note on the benefits promised to the State at the time of bifurcation and the benefits given in the last four years. He is set to target the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the meeting, when the Prime Minister is present.