10-07-201910-07-2019 11:21:01 IST
Updated On 10-07-2019 11:21:53 ISTUpdated On 10-07-20192019-07-10T05:51:01.888Z10-07-2019 2019-07-10T05:50:57.956Z - 2019-07-10T05:51:53.558Z - 10-07-2019
Achieving ‘Special Category Status’ for Andhra Pradesh was one of the main poll planks that helped YSRCP chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy stride to power with ease. Since the time he was elected as the new chief minister of the state, Jagan has been reiterating his and his party’s commitment to fight for the cause. He spoke a few time about how this task becomes increasingly difficult especially after the Modi-led BJP and NDA cruised back to power with an absolute majority at the Centre. Despite that, he vowed to use every occasion to broach the topic and exert pressure on the Centre to change its mind. In one of his first steps, Jagan even moved a resolution for this purpose and got it passed in the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly during its first session.
But the million-dollar question has always been on the options left for him and how he would intend to bring about the turnaround. Even as everyone is clueless on the way forward, the Centre once again put its foot down and shot down the idea, for the umpteenth time. Asserting its stand right on the floor of Lok Sabha, the Centre minced no words to state that there is no question of granting Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.
The government reiterated its established stand on the issue in response to a question raised by YSR Congress Party MP Balli Durga Prasad. In a written reply to the member, Union Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai stated that the Centre had already explained its stand on Special Category Status to AP. “We have already announced a special package to the state and hence there is no way we can give special category status.” Much to the frustration of the state, the minister also repeated the Modi-government’s and BJP’s oft-repeated refrain, terming the issue as a ‘closed chapter’ in the wake of the recommendations made by the 14th Finance Commission.
The Centre’s reticence on the issue, flying in the face of the popular mood in the state, can prove to be a major headache for Jagan’s government sooner or later. After all, it was him and his party that played a key role in making the SCS an overwhelmingly emotive issue when they were in opposition. It would be interesting to see how Jagan and his YSRCP respond to the Centre’s hardened stand on SCS.
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