The YSRCP MPs’ request for the matter to be heard on the floor of the House was denied twice, citing short notice and other pressing legislative business.

Andhra special status YSRCP MPs demand discussion in RS disrupt proceedings
news Protest Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 16:24

Members of Parliament (MPs) belonging to the ruling YSRCP of Andhra Pradesh disrupted proceedings in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, July 20. The MPs were protesting against the Rajya Sabha’s decision to not take up discussion on the issue of Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh. The MPs walked into the well of the House demanding justice. V Vijaya Sai Reddy, a Rajya Sabha MP from the YSRCP, had requested Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday to suspend the day's listed business so that the SCS could be discussed. However, this request was turned down citing short notice and other pressing important legislative business. The MPs gave a second notice again on Tuesday, but it was turned down again. 

The YSRCP MPs Vijaya Sai Reddy, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, and Margani Bharat alleged the issue was being deliberately ignored and stormed into the well of the Rajya Sabha. The protest disrupted proceedings for close to an hour before being adjourned till noon. The MP’s raised slogans demanding justice for Andhra Pradesh and that the state be given SCS.

Harivansh Narayan Singh, the Deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha, requested the protesting MPs to return to their seats. He said their statements were not being recorded in the proceedings for the day. Rajya Sabha TV also cut short the broadcasting of the protest and resumed once the protesting MPS left the well of the House. 

Union Minister Piyush Goyel attempted to intervene, appealing to the protesting YSRCP MPs to return to their seats and allow the House to function. "Here we are discussing something that concerns humanity and I request...we shall discuss with you your concerns.All of India and the world is watching this debate of COVID-19," he said. The protests led to the parliament session being adjourned till noon.

The YSRCP MPs Vijaya Sai Reddy, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, and Margani Bharat spoke to the media outside the Parliament premises in Delhi. The leaders said that special status is a top priority for the Andhra Pradesh government, and demanded that the SCS for Andhra Pradesh be allowed for discussion. They also demanded that the Union government approve the revised estimates for the Polavaram irrigation project. 

SCS is a financial aid given to states that come under specific criteria and is granted mainly because of the inherent features of these states and the relatively lower income base. Around 90% of funds allocated to the SCS are given as grants. This means that the grants need not be paid back, and only 10% of funds taken as loans must be returned. States with SCS can also enjoy concessions in excise and customs duties, income tax rates and corporate tax rates, as determined by the government. The demand to identify Andhra Pradesh as a Special Category State gained momentum with its bifurcation in 2014 to form Telangana.

Read: Why is the Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh such a big deal? Explained


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