Politics of special status
The Andhra Pradesh Congress in a desperate bid to revive its fortunes in the state that is up in arms over what it feels arbitrary bifurcation, caught up with an issue on which the party certainly has right to articulate.
The Andhra Pradesh Congress in a desperate bid to revive its fortunes in the state that is up in arms over what it feels arbitrary bifurcation, caught up with an issue on which the party certainly has right to articulate. The Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was the author of the special category for Andhra Pradesh. But, the party finds it hard to explain to the people why the Central government led by it which enacted bifurcation Act with a remarkable alacrity as the polls were fast approaching failed to include the proposal in the Act itself so that it would have been mandatory for the incumbent government to implement.
Yet, this cannot be an alibi, now, for denying special status to Andhra Pradesh. The BJP cannot escape from the fact that it was the principal architect of such a promise to Seemandhra people. The party has also gained electorally for making the UPA government agree to its demand. More than the Congress whose prime minister promised on the floor of Parliament such a status to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, the BJP-TDP combine used the proposal in elections.
Even the TDP cannot be fully castigated for the failure to achieve the special status as the political arithmetic is not conducive to it to compel the NDA government to concede to its demand. But, the TDP should be questioned for hoodwinking the people that special package is better than special status. The party's polemics over special status shows its lack of accountability for the promise so vociferously made during the elections.
The major opposition YSR Congress Party has even announced its intentions to seek the resignations of all its MPs if the Centre fails to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh. But, in a strange somersault, the party rendered unconditional support to the NDA government for the presidential elections despite its blatant denial of such a status to the state.
The occasional social media outcry by Janasena leader cannot in any way indicate its serious commitment to defend the interests of the state. No political party had sought an amendment to the state reorganisation Act to include the promised special status.
The Centre should realise that the bifurcation of united state of Andhra Pradesh was predicated upon the promise of special category status to Andhra Pradesh. Such a solemn promise in Parliament by none other than the then prime minister of India with the full support of the entire House cannot be held hostage to the recommendations of the Finance Commission whatever may be their Constitutional status. Nothing can be more sacrosanct than the House of the People in democracy.
Centre assured Andhra Pradesh of its hand holding to the beleaguered state. But, the people of the state do not seek any mercy from it. It is the political right to demand such a status to the state as it was the Central government that bifurcated the united state through an Act of Parliament much to the annoyance of Seemandhra people. It's the constitutional obligation in spirit if not letter of the Centre to concede such a special status to Andhra Pradesh.