The Congress party has said in its manifesto released on Tuesday, that it will grant Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh if it came into power at the Centre. SCS is a long pending demand in the state as it was promised by the UPA-II government when the state was bifurcated in 2014, as Andhra was left with no capital and very little infrastructure and means of revenue generation.
"Congress will give Special Category status to Andhra Pradesh as promised by Dr. Manmohan Singh on February 20, 2014 in the Rajya Sabha," the party’s manifesto states.
In 2014, Congress had drawn a blank in both Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, as the people of the residual state were irked at the national party for the bifurcation of the state. However, the party has been trying to change the narrative and shift the blame on the BJP-led Centre, accusing it of going back on a promise by a Prime Minister on the floor of the House.
In 2016, massive protests broke out across the state after then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a 'special economic package' for Andhra, instead of the special status. Jaitley claimed that the 14th Finance Commission had recommended that the special category status can be given only to hill states and north-eastern states.
While both Congress and BJP do not fare a good chance in the state, they are pinning their hopes on the regional parties. The Congress is lenient towards the TDP, which left the NDA alliance, while the BJP is eyeing the YSRCP as a potential post-poll ally.
In 2018, The TDP had stalled proceedings in Parliament during the budget session and even moved a no-confidence motion, while the MPs of the YSRCP had also submitted their resignations in protest. Elections to the 175-member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state are scheduled to be held on April 11.
Elections to the 175-member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state are scheduled to be held on April 11.