Special status issue runs Andhra into bandh mode

RSTV Bureau
File photo of YSR Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in AP Jagan Mohan Reddy Photo-PTI

File photo of YSR Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in AP Jagan Mohan Reddy
Photo-PTI

Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh have called a state-wide bandh in protest against Centre’s refusal to grant special status to the state.

Scores of  YSR Congress, the Congress and the communist parties workers were taken into custody by police as they tried to organise protests and prevent plying of state-run transport corporation buses.

State Road Transport Corporation suspended its services as a precautionary measure to prevent any damage.

While educational institutions declared a holiday, banks  and other commercial establishments did not open their shutters.

In temporary capital Vijayawada, YSRC workers were taken into custody when they staged a protest outside the bus station and prevented movement of buses.

“We appeal to the people to take part in the bandh and express their protest over the failure of the BJP in providing Special Category Status to the state,” said a release of YSR Congress.

Speaking to media in Vijayawada, YSR Congress president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the BJP led NDA and its ally TDP failed to deliver on their promise.

TDP-MPs

The ruling TDP too has stepped up its protest in Parliament against their ally BJP for not granting special category status.

In New Delhi, members belonging to two rival parties, TDP and YSRCP joined hands in the Lok Sabha to demand special status for Andhra Pradesh. The parties held a demonstration near Gandhi statue inside Parliament premises on Tuesday Morning.

Members of NDA partner TDP and the opposition YSR Congress forced brief adjournments of Lok Sabha proceedings demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

This was the second consecutive day of their vociferous protests which drew the ire of the Speaker who said sloganeering will not help meet their demand.

TDP is unhappy at the Narendra Modi government for not providing the desired funds to Andhra Pradesh after Telangana was carved out of it.

The fissures between BJP and TDP are being seen as so serious that there is speculation that the party led by N Chandrababu Naidu could even walk out of the NDA.

The unruly scenes continued when the papers were laid at noon and Zero Hour taken up, with Speaker asking the protesting members to return to their seats, telling them that she will allow them to raise the issue if they went back.

“You have to go. You won’t get anything from here,” she said. But TDP and YSR Congress members remained unrelenting, forcing Mahajan to adjourn the House for about 15 minutes.

When the House reassembled, Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai again adjourned the proceedings till 1245 hours.

TDP leader and AP CM Chandrababu Naidu too supported the protest in Parliament. He said the cash-starved state requires special category status to enhance the development process with the help of additional funds.

Meanwhile, political parties in Andhra were not happy with the statement made by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha last week.

Jailey had told the Upper House that the Centre was committed to keeping its promise and fulfilling all responsibilities as far as “hand-holding” Andhra Pradesh was concerned.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley replying to the short duration discussion on the progress of implementation of AP Reorganisation Act

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley replying to the short duration discussion on the progress of implementation of AP Reorganisation Act

The statement did not go down well with Congress. Party members led by Digvijaya Singh and Anand Sharma staged a walkout in protest.

Earlier today, Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party (TDPP) held an emergency meeting to demand implementation of the Act, which led to the creation of Telangana state in 2014, “in letter and spirit”.

The party has also decided to organise “Japanese-style” protests to build pressure on the Centre over the Act and special status issue.

CM  Chandrababu Naidu said called the matter a “life and death issue” for the state and its future.

“We have waited with hope for two years. If the Prime Minister can spare two hours, the problems can be solved,” said the Chief Minister.

Naidu also clarified that the party was continuing in the Modi government only to protect the state’s interests.