chandrababu naidu
Pictured: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu with students of a Vijayawada school on Aug 28, 2016.IANS

Andhra Pradesh, which has been demanding special status ever since Telangana was carved out of it, has finally accepted a special financial package from the Centre. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that he accepted the package as it would be in the interest of the state.

"I accepted the special package for the sake of Andhra Pradesh's development with hope that it will be good for state," Naidu said on Wednesday.

Naidu has been widely criticised for failing to secure the special status for the state since it was divided in 2014.

On Sept. 10, the day-long Andhra Pradesh shutdown called by the opposition parties to protest denial of special category status to the state had evoked near total response, affecting normal life.

Public transport was affected in all the 13 districts as activists of Yuvajana, Shramika, Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) stopped buses from plying. The workers of opposition parties had also staged a sit-in at Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) depots to prevent buses from coming out.

Telugu Desam Party MPs had also protested for special status for Andhra Pradesh during the monsoon session of the Parliament.

The state will be completely funded for the Polavaram Project, a multi-purpose irrigation project which has been accorded national project status by the Central government. It will also get tax concessions and special assistance from the Centre. The TDP is an ally of Bharatiya Janata Party in Andhra Pradesh and the Centre.

"I am not scared of any high command. Public is my high command. I fear only for the problems and that's why I have accepted the special package," Naidu said.