February 9, 2018
Cutting across party lines, member of parliaments from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana castigated the NDA government for its utter neglect of the two Telugu speaking states and those from Andhra region stepped up their agitation for special package to Andhra Pradesh as promised by the central government when the state was bifurcated.
Congress MP in Rajya Sabha Renuka Chaudhary strongly attacked the central government for humiliating the two states and giving a pittance of budgetary allocations, and alleged that the promises made by the central government for special status to Andhra Pradesh were being deliberately ignored.
Even the budgetary allocations to Andhra Pradesh was a joke she said even as MPs from Telugu Desam party shouted slogans outside the parliament in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue. Holding up placards, the MPs shouted slogans in English and Hindi demanding justice for Andhra Pradesh.
Incidentally, TDP is part of the ruling NDA coalition and is finding the going very tough for it politically in Andhra Pradesh as it could achieve nothing for the state ever since its partition. And with the BJP cosying up to YSR Congress party, the TDP is upping the ante and is threatening to pull out of the NDA alliance, but TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu is waiting and watching the developments before taking a final call.
Sources in the TDP from Andhra Pradesh indicate that Chandrababu Naidu could actually pull out, but was waiting for the perfect timing.
The TDP is calibrating its attack to position itself for the general elections due in the state next year.
On the ground in Andhra Pradesh passions are running high with ruling TDP sponsoring a bandh across the state. Local units of CPI, CPM, YSR Congress also joined in the protests, lest they be seen as lagging behind and also to prevent TDP from cornering all political space on this issue.
In many places, protesters burnt effigies of the central government and its leaders to express their anger at the ‘cheating’ of Andhra Pradesh and its five crore population.
For sure, it is step motherly treatment of the centre, one treatment for Gujarat and entirely different yardstick for Andhra Pradesh is the general sentiment of the people, who are feeling cheated.
TDP has given all indications of intensifying the agitation, and not rest till special status is granted to the truncated Andhra Pradesh and special economic packages for its development as an industrial and educational hub. Without adequate support and allocations, which is the right of the state, it cannot make any progress, Chandrababu Naidu said.
Going by all indications, politics is heating up in Andhra Pradesh with new realignments likely to alter the political scenario.