All political parties in the state except the TDP and the BJP are expected to participate.

Andhra opposition parties plan massive protest to demand special statusFile photo:A CPI (Marxist) member protests for special status
news Special Status Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 08:55

Various representatives of political parties and people’s organisations gathered in Vijayawada this week, to reiterate their demand for granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

Members of the Andhra Pradesh Pratyeka Hoda Sadhana Samiti gathered at a roundtable, and decided to launch a massive protest, starting from March.

All political parties in the state except the TDP and the BJP are expected to participate in the event.

“A concerted effort will be made to bring all the Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh on to one platform against Centre and Telugu Desam Party…Issues such as Vizag railway zone, Kadapa steel factory and port development were sidelined. Announcing special status as a closed chapter is not accepted,” CPI State secretary K Ramakrishna was quoted as saying.

CPI(M) State secretary P. Madhu, YSRCP city president Malladi Vishnu, Congress leader Mastan Valli and Samiti convenor Chalasani Srinivas were among those who participated in the meeting.

This came a day after the Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh’s Assembly, YS Jaganmohan Reddy, on Monday said that his YSRC party was ready to enter into an alliance with the BJP for the 2019 election.

However, he said that the alliance would only be possible, if the Centre announced special category status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.

In 2016, massive protests broke out all over the state after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a 'special economic package' for Andhra, instead of the special status that the state had demanded.

Jaitley had said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement made in Rajya Sabha on February 20, 2014 for according special status to Andhra Pradesh could not be implemented as the 14th Finance Commission had recommended that the special category status can be given only to hill states and north-eastern states.

This led to a lot of resentment in the state, since it was a long standing demand of all parties in Andhra. In fact, it was also a main poll promise of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

The central government's financial package also includes a special assistance, a series of tax concessions and full funding of the Polavaram irrigation project.