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Rajat Bhargava says SCS to AP was not in his hands


Senior IAS officer Rajat Bhargava said that the grant of Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh was not in his hands. In a statement on Tuesday, Rajat Bhargava denied the report appearing in a vernacular daily that he was responsible for not getting SCS to Andhra Pradesh.

The vernacular daily alleged that Rajat Bhargava, while being the joint secretary in the Union Finance Ministry did not attend the Central government meetings on granting SCS to Andhra Pradesh. The daily further said that Rajat Bhargava had skipped five such meetings resulting in the total denial of the SCS to the state.

Rajat Bhargava said that the report was totally baseless and is far from the truth. He said that the joint secretary of the state had no rights to grant SCS to any state. He further said that the joint secretary in the finance ministry was only an officer responsible for some given tasks and had no powers to choose tasks.

The vernacular daily quoted a retired IAS officer P V Ramesh who told the daily that Rajat Bhargava did not attend the meetings of the Planning Commission representing the finance ministry. The planning commission held five meetings on the issue and said that Rajat Bhargava did not attend even a single meeting.

“If the post of the joint secretary is so powerful and can sanction the Special Category Status to any state, I would have been the first to give the SCS to Andhra Pradesh, where I have been serving for several years,” Rajat Bhargava said.

He further asked the vernacular daily to publish his statement as it was damaging and was aimed at spoiling his image. It is to be seen how the vernacular daily would respond to the statement of the senior IAS officer.

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AP bats for mechanism to implement bifurcation promises


The Andhra Pradesh government had asked the Center to create a separate mechanism to implement the state bifurcation promises. Minister for Finance, Buggana Rajendranath, who led the delegation from the State for the South Zone Council meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, raised the demand alleging that the Central government had ignored implementation of the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act 2014.

The minister told Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who chaired the meeting, that the majority of the key issues were unresolved. Setting up of a steel plant in Kadapa, sea port in Ramayapatnam, railway zone at Visakhapatnam and funds for the seven backward districts were neglected. The minister told the Council that the Central government had released funds for the seven backward districts only twice and demanded that these works are to be monitored by a special committee.

The Minister said that the Central government had announced the creation of a new railway zone of South Coastal Railway (CoSR) for Visakhapatnam. However, he regretted that no progress was seen in establishing the new railway zone.

Buggana also complained to the Council that bifurcation of the institutions mentioned in the Schedule 9 and 10 of the AP Reorganisation Act was not initiated yet. He wanted the Central government to start the work and complete it before the schedule of June 2, 2024, as by then, Hyderabad ceases to be the common capital of the two Telugu states as mentioned in the Act.

The Minister wanted the South Zone Council to intervene and create a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act and roll out benefits for the state.

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Centre flip-flops and dumps “AP special status” from Feb. 17 meeting!


The BJP-led government at the Centre made a flip-flop yet again on the issue of granting ‘special status’ to Andhra Pradesh that was promised during bifurcation of AP in 2014.

The union home minister issued a circular on Saturday convening a three-member committee meeting on February 17 to resolve pending bifurcation issues between Telangana and AP.

According to agenda No.8 mentioned in the circular, the meeting will discuss granting ‘special status’ to AP besides ‘revenue deficit’ of AP.

This triggered speculations that Modi government has changed its stand on granting special status to AP. This is because Modi government has been consistently denying special status to AP since it came to power in 2014.

But the sudden meeting and mention of special status issue in the agenda surprised all in Telugu States.

The Telugu news channels went gaga over this circular and held debates and discussions on Modi government’s changed policy towards AP.

But within no time, the Centre issued a fresh circular on Saturday deleting ‘special status’ and ‘revenue deficit’ issues from the agenda of the meeting.

The circular stated that this meeting is aimed to discuss division of assets and liabilities of common institutions, mostly located in Hyderabad, that were listed under Schedule IX and X of AP Reorganisation Act and sharing of bank deposits of these common institutions between TS and AP.

The meeting will be attended by joint secretary of union home ministry, finance secretaries of AP and TS, SS Rawat and K.Ramakrishna Rao.

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Centre again says Special Status is a closed chapter


The Modi government has once again categorically and unequivocally said that there was no question of according special status to Andhra Pradesh. The government told parliament that the special status demand for AP was a closed chapter. Both the regional parties from the Telugu states did nothing except remaining silent on this issue.

In a written reply to MP Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu’s question, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityananda Rao said that the special status was a closed chapter and added that the Centre was ready to give a special package as already agreed. The minister said that the State government has so far held 25 meetings with the representatives of both Telangana and Andhra on the question of solving the unsolved issues of AP bifurcation. It said the Centre was making every effort to come to the consensus on pending issues.

The Centre has also said that the Centre was allocating funds at 90:10 ratio for all the centrally sponsored scheme as special assistance. Also the Centre is paying the interest amount for all the loans taken by the two state governments from outside the country.

The Centre also categorically said that many of the assurances given by the Central Government under the AP Reorganisation Act have been implanted. The pending assurances would take some time to implement, it said. The Government has said in very clear terms that the special status was a closed chapter after the recommendations of the 14th finance commission were made public.

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Andhra CM meets PM, reiterates demand for special status

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reiterated the demand that the Centre accord Special Category Status to the state and fulfill other commitments made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

Jagan Reddy called on Modi in the national capital and discussed various issues related to the state.

According to Chief Minister’s Office, Jagan Reddy explained the problems faced by the state and underlined the need to grant Special Category Status (SCS) to the state for its industrial development and overall growth.

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief has already announced that during every meeting with the Prime Minister, he will raise the issue of SCS, which was promised by the Centre while bifurcating Andhra Pradesh in 2014.

The Chief Minister also sought incentives for establishment of industries in the state. He demanded exemption from Goods and Services Tax (GST), Income tax and 100 per cent insurance premium for 10 years to industries.

He also urged Modi to fulfill the promises made to the state in Reorganisation Act by establishing steel plant in Kadapa district and constructing Ramayapatnam port as construction of Dugarajupatnam port envisaged earlier was not feasible.

Jagan Reddy, who assumed office on May 27, submitted a petition to Modi regarding different issues. He briefed the PM on the steps taken by his government to improve people’s standard of living, to provide social security to various sections of society, create infrastructure and ensure corruption-free and transparent governance.

Justifying his government’s decision to cancel Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) entered into by previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government with the producers of renewable energy, Jagan Reddy said the previous government was irrational and outlandish in signing these PPAs as they caused huge burden on the state exchequer. He alleged that PPAs were signed only to benefit a select few with ulterior motives.

The Chief Minister said though there was a purchase limit of 5-10 per cent, the TDP government purchased 23.6 per cent of renewable energy, causing Rs 2,654 crore loss to electricity department. He blamed previous government for the power producers landing in Rs 20,000 crore debts.

He told the Prime Minister that the state’s debts in 2014-15 were Rs 97,000 crore but by 2018-19, they mounted to Rs 2.58 lakh crore.

Jagan Reddy said the Centre should have released Rs 2,100 crore over six years for seven backward districts but only Rs 1,050 crore were released. He urged the Centre to release 23,300 crore for backward districts on the lines of KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) model.

Explaining the water problems faced by the state, Jagan Reddy sought interlinking of Godavari and Krishna rivers. Stating that the government plans to develop a Water Grid at a cost of Rs 60,000 crore by 2050 to supply safe drinking water to people, he sought the Centre’s cooperation in the project.

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Can YCP change its strategy on AP Special Status?

YCP founder YS Jaganmohan Reddy used Special Status slogan to corner and upset TDP in 2019 elections. After becoming Chief Minister, Jagan continued to make repeated requests for the Status in front of Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah. He did this despite the BJP leaders clarifying repeatedly that AP Special Status is a closed chapter. Still, YCP leaders are raising the Status issue again and again. Strategically, TDP has stopped raising this demand and becoming closer to BJP.

For sure, Jagan and his party are facing a bitter truth now. When Kashmir itself lost Special Status, will it be possible for AP to get it despite some empty promises made at the time of reorganisation? Can YCP continue its policy to demand Special Status any more? Jagan indeed made a strategic blunder by committing himself to the Status at every forum.

Nation has seen how the Modi-Shah duo carried out a surgical strike on Kashmir Special Status by scrapping Article 370. This triggered speculation that Modi took such a historic step concerning Kashmir and his approach to AP Special Status would be equally negative. BJP national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao is now referring to Kashmir operation to all those Andhra forces which are asking for Special Status.

The Congress leaders called the Kashmir action a murder of democracy. But the BJP leaders hit back saying that the Congress played a foul game at the time of separating Andhra and Telangana. This is the atmosphere prevailing at the Centre. Will Jagan continue to plead and request PM with all humility for Special Status any more? Analysts say that YCP or TDP or any other Andhra party should take a lesson from Kashmir experience and better ask for special funds in place of Special Status. Just like, Chandrababu accepted Special Package during his regime.

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Congress flays Centre for going back on special status to Andhra


The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP government of trampling “constitutionalism” by disregarding the promise of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to provide special status category to Andhra Pradesh and said it was akin to betraying the nine core people of the state.

“Trampling upon constitutionalism and backstabbing the trust of the people have become synonymous with the BJP. The new BJP government has broken its first promise by bluntly refusing to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh and disrespecting the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014,” Congress media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement.

He said Finance Minister Nirmarla Sitharaman, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, has said in Parliament that “there was no proposal under consideration of the Central government to grant Special Category Status (SCS) to any state”.

Surjewalka said: “it is a shameful betrayal of nine crore people of Andhra Pradesh”.

Surjewala said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly raised the issue of denying the Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh and fulfilling the financial commitment to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “We hope the new government of YSR Congress will take up this important issue with BJP,” he said.

Surjewala said that on February 20, 2014, when the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, 2014 was being discussed, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made a solemn commitment on the floor of Parliament as Prime Minister of India that for the purposes of Central assistance, special category status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh.

“This commitment of special category status to newly carved out state of Andhra Pradesh had been discussed with Arun Jaitley, the then Leader of the Opposition and other senior BJP leaders and they had agreed on the same,” he said.

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Video: Chandrababu Speech on AP Special Status

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Jagan meets Shah, raises special status for Andhra


Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and raised the issue of special category status for his state as well as an amicable settlement of all contentious issues with neighbouring Telangana.

In his over 15-minute meeting, Reddy also informed the Home Minister about the issues of sharing of river waters and division of assets and liabilities among others between the two Telugu-speaking states.

“I took an appointment with Home Minister today (Friday) evening to try and prevail on him, to also soften PM’s heart on special category status… what we will definitely be asking for in tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) NITI Aayog meeting,” Jagan, as the leader is popularly known, told media after the meeting.

“The agenda of my visit was tomorrow’s NITI Aayog meeting. Tomorrow we will be presenting our case to the NITI Aayog, which is chaired by the Prime Minister.”

Reacting to reports that Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker’s post will be offered to his YSR Congress Party, Reddy said: “First of all there is nothing offered. We haven’t asked, neither any proposal of that sort have come from any quarter. So please don’t speculate these kinds of things.”

In the last five years, there was more hostility than cordiality between the TRS government in Telangana, carved out of Andhra Pradesh, and the Telugu Desam Party dispensation in Andhra Pradesh, due to political reasons.

Last year, the TDP had even gone on a collision course with the Central government.

The Governor, common to both the states, arranged a couple of meetings with the Chief Ministers and subsequently, a three-member ministers group was formed on each side to resolve the issues but no headway was made.

In the four years that it remained part of the NDA government at the Centre, the TDP failed to achieve much it was due to get, according to the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

But now, the YSR Congress government headed by Reddy has begun with an advantage of having a non-confrontationist, if not friendly, relationship with both the TRS government and the Centre, springing hope of ending the impasse.

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Special status suicide in Kurnool district


G. Ravikiran

One national party divided AP and promised special status but not conferred the same officially at the time of division.

Another national party came to power at the centre and after prolonged thinking said that the status would be impossible under the given circumstances in the country.

Subsequently, different parties in AP took different stances to suit their political needs.

But this has become indeed an emotional and sensitive issue for almost all sections.

This has now claimed one more life. A 10th class student named Madileti Mahendra Naidu ended his life at his house in Jaladurgam village in Kurnool district.

The boy apparently left a letter before hanging himself when he was alone.

He said his brother would have got a job by now if the centre gave special status to create jobs and development opportunities in the newly created state without a capital.

The boy also noted that so many had taken their lives for the sake of achieving separate Telangana at that time and they succeeded.

Sources say financial problems and sickness afflicting the head of family were other main reasons behind the boy’s tragic end.

It is clear that the status issue will continue to bother the people of AP in different ways.

The Congress party, which divided the state, now promises that once it comes to power next time, it will surely give special status officially to AP.

But the question is whether AP people are ready to forgive national parties for denial of special status.

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Arun Jaitley and ApSCS – A saga of forgotten promises !


Union finance minister of India Mr. Arun Jaitley in recent times has been vehemently opposing special category status nor a special financial package to Andhra Pradesh. His arrogant pressmeet in this regard has caused a stir in the state politics.

Heads of current BJP government , Narendra Modi, then Rajyasabha leaders Venkayya Naidu and Arun Jaitley used to be completely in favor of Andhra Pradesh , they promised moon when they were in opposition. The story took U turn once they captured power , tunes were changed after their NDA got solid support from the people of state of Andhra Pradesh.

Let us quickly recap the excerpts from Arun Jaitley own blog from Times Of India dated February 21st 2014 ; In an article titled : BJP and the division of Andhra Pradesh he wrote :

  •  How do you balance the interests of Seemandhra? How do you highlight the issue that the government has gone wrong in the process of creation of Telangana?
  • On the floor of the Rajya Sabha we were, therefore, able to extract from the government the commitment that Seemandhra would get a special category status for five years, investments in Seemandhra would attract tax incentives on the lines made available to other states, a backward region package would be given for districts of Rayalseema and north coastal Andhra Pradesh
  • If any further demand needs to be pursued such as a support from the Centre in building a new capital for Seemandhra, the BJP will play a positive role in facilitating this aspiration also.

In another article titled Telangana: How UPA blundered in the whole process (dated Feb 20th 2014 )  Arun Jaitley stated :

  • It must be ensured through a statutory protection that the special packages and incentives compensate the Seemandhra region for the loss of revenue being caused by the bifurcation of the original state of Andhra Pradesh

Now when BJP leaders have all powers on this earth to fulfill their own views, words  they reversed the rhetoric. Finally BJP had cheated Andhra Pradesh , Mr. Jaitley’s arrogant tone in yesterday’s pressmeet caused insult to the poeple of Andhra Pradesh. Rubbing salt to the wounds, he reportedly ridiculed Andhra’s leaders and people aspirations as ” Given a chance, these Andhra leaders may even demand to divert defence funds to their state ” .  Not only cheating Andhra pradesh but also ridiculing is an unwanted approach from the union government representatives.


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Jana Sena: TDP is not an ally, will work with YSRCP for special status


JanaSena Media Head Hariprasad said that their party is willing to work even with the opposition YSR Congress for securing special category status to Andhra Pradesh. He said that Jana Sena’s alliance with TDP was limited to 2014 elections. Moreover Kalyan said that he will give 60 percent seats to new candidates in the next elections.

Hariprasad advised Minister Pithani Satyanarayana’s to come out of his home and look at the popularity of the actor-cum-politician. His party is of the thought that TDP leaders are making comments against Kalyan without the knowledge of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

On the other hand Kalyan took to twitter to advise his followers not to get provoked by the remarks of some people. He said that it might cause damage to the party instead of doing good.

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Union minister looking for ways to implicate TV9


– Andhra Pradesh special status issue has dented BJP-TDP alliance Goodwill

– Union Minister, behind the scenes, has been attempting to dictate the media

– TV9 is the only media house espousing the ‘Special status’ instead of ‘Special package’ 

The “Special category status to Andhra Pradesh” issue has generated much political heat in past few months in Andhra Pradesh,as well as in New Delhi.’Special category status to AP’ was one of the promises made in parliament along with Andhra Pradesh Re-orginazation bill in 2014. Then Congress prime minister Mr. Manmohan singh had given a verbal commitment of five years,while BJP had demanded for 10 years special status to Andhra Pradesh. However, post general elections, BJP had flip-flopped on the issue and is facing heat from all sections.

Realizing the political damage the issue is causing , Narendra Modi government has resorted to do damage control and deployed a team of union ministers to formulate an alternative action. An economic package to AP, in lieu of special status,is the union government’s latest resolution which has received mixed response from the people and political parties of Andhra Pradesh. An union minister, who was vociferous in support of special status when BJP was in opposition,is under line of fire from media and rival parties for his flip-flop now.

Initially the Telugu media outlets,except Modi’s trumpet EENADU group, were against the union government and supported the voice of the people in this issue. After declaration of ‘special economic package’ to Andhra pradesh, few media houses like Andhra Jyothy had softened their anti-BJP voice.These media groups are tasked to propagate ” Package is better than special status ” point to the people. It is open secret that BJP ally TDP’s bosses might have ordered their pro channels to soften their anti-BJP, anti-Union government voice in special status issue.

However, there is one channel TV9,which has been supporting “special category status to AP” movement since 2014 had not stopped making noise. TV9 channel in Telugu is conducting live debates, various other programs and primarily still stirring the ‘Special Status to AP’ cause.This is further causing uneasiness for ruling BJP-TDP alliance. In particular, above said union minister’s reputation is taking a beat via this channel’s programs.

It is reliably learnt that,now this union minister, using his clout in Information and Broadcasting ministry in Delhi, has requested officials to find loopholes (or) faults with TV9 network and,file cases against them. His secretary, whose name translates to ‘Truth’ in Telugu,is coordinating the task with I&B officials.

We need to wait and watch whether TV9 succumbs to these pressure tactics by this BJP minister (or) the minister takes back his pressure tactics.

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Pawan’s new found enemy: the BJP!


(Ramesh Kandula)

Pawan Kalyan, at last, found his political enemy. It is the BJP, besides the Congress of course.

The Jana Sena leader launched a no-holds barred attack against BJP for denying special status to Andhra Pradesh. The state is being looked down by the north Indian-centric BJP, he said.

Time and again, the saffron party humiliated Seemandra people, he thundered.

That is about the only clarity that Pawan gave during his hour-long speech, delivered in fits and starts.

He was mildly critical of the TDP, and did not dwell much on YSR CP. He mentioned several times how he had helped BJP-TDP combine in Andhra Pradesh during the 2014 election campaign.

As can be expected, Pawan once again came across as a rebel without any ideological base, a man burdened by too much thought, but no concrete plan of action.

The speech, attended by a large gathering in Kakinada, is marked by the usual Pawan-mark hysterical declamations, spurts of emotional outbursts and characteristic vehemence.

It is mostly a meandering speech with not much coherence. As is his wont, Pawan got carried away by his own personality, indulging in chest thumping in place of logical, point by point rebuttal of any criticism against him.

TDP and Chandrababu Naidu may feel relieved that the maverick actor-turned-politician chose not to target them. Besides, Pawan’s firing guns at the Centre will only help it put more pressure on Modi.

However, the fans-turned-Jana Sena-activists are likely to get a confused message as Pawan did not clearly spell out the future course of action.

But one outcome of Pawan’s meet is clear – his ties with BJP are snapped for good. He is all set to take up cudgels against the party whom he had supported not long ago against the wishes of his own brother Chiranjeevi.

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Rahul Gandhi steps in for special category status for AP


The issue of special category status for Andhra Pradesh has been continuing with all the opposition parties are accusing the NDA government in centre for not keeping its promises. Though there were not many leaders at the centre who have raised this issue, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant special category status for Andhra Pradesh soon.

In his letter, Rahul urged the Centre to grant special category status and announce a time frame for fulfillment of commitments made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014.

He also alleged that its more than a year that Modi government came into power, but most of their promises to the state did not see the reality.

“I have toured the state twice in the last year and it is facing revenue deficit which in turn makes all the developmental schemes to be stalled. Therefore centre’s attention and support is necessary,” Rahul said.

Earlier, the Congress vice president fired on TDP government in state and main opposition party YSRCP for not mounting pressure on Union government for special category status.

Lets us see if Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is set to visit Andhra Pradesh on October 22 to lay the foundation stone for Amaravathi, the new capital of the bifurcated state would make any statement on special category status.

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No Spl Status to AP: Centre reiterates


Centre has no plans to modify the criteria evolved to accord special category status to a state. Rao Inderjit Singh who created commotion by stating this in Lok Sabha during last session, has put it on paper now.

In a letter written to Nalgonda MP Gutha Sukhender Reddy, Rao Inderjit Singh, minister of state for planning, reiterated centre’ stand. “Special category status for plan assistance has been granted in the past by the National Development Council (NDC) to some states that are characterized by a number of features necessitating special consideration. These features include” 1. hilly and difficult terrain 2. low population density or sizeable share of tribal population 3. strategic location along the borders with neighbouring counties 4. economic and infrastructural backwardness and 5. non-viable nature of state finances,” he minister said.

Stating that centre had received requests for according special category status from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan , Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Jharkhan, Rao Inderjit Singh said,” At present there is no proposal to modify the criteria for grant of special category status.”

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Jagan exhorts students to fight for special status


YSRCP president and Opposition leader in Assembly YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is on a mission to build a Telangana-like students movement for achieving special status today called upon the students in Vizag to fight for the special status. This is his second interaction with students in a program called “Yuva Bheri” the first being with the students of SV University. Reiterating his oft repeated slogan that no special status means no jobs and no future. ” Special status is the only hope for getting jobs. Chandrababu Naidu is not able to fight for the special status for political reasons. The reason is to save his skin from the cash-for-vote scam case. Chandrababu Naidu had attempted to buy Telangana MLAs with the money he took as bribe from the projects like Pattiseema and got caught red-handedly while offering money. To bail himself out of this case, Naidu had to crawl before the NDA government. He sold out the interests of the state for his personal gains,” Jagan said.

To cover up his sell out to centre, Jagan said, Naidu was preaching that Special Status was not panacea and 14th finance commission was opposed to it etc. According to Jagan the 14 th finance commission had nothing to with special status. In the past 15 months, Jagan said, not a single job had been offered in the state and on the other hand many contract employees were losing their jobs. With special status alone Andhra could become number one state and enter the orbit of development and job creation.

“There are nearly 1.42 lakh vacancies in government. There are about 5,000 jobs in the universities. Chandrabu Naidu doesn’t want to fill up these vacancies. Because, he has devised a plan to undermine the universities and encourage the private universities. The students, who appeared for the DSC have no chance of getting the teacher posts,” he said painting a gloomy picture about the job scenario in Andhra Pradesh. He exhorted the student who attended the Yuva Bheri to question Chandrababu Naidu about the special status to Andhra Pradesh.

” He doesn’t fight for the special status. We have to build a movement and exert pressure on the centre to get the special status accorded to the state. Then only we will get the ample job opportunities,” Jagan said.

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Doors close on special status?


The coveted number two position of Andhra Pradesh with respect to the ease in doing business among the 32 state and union territories appears to have closed the doors for the state to demand the special category state (SCS) status once for all. The new rank, the result of the study done by World Bank Group in association with the CII and FICCI and audited by KPMG, has certainly made Andhra Pradesh a difficult case for the SCS.

The rank is given based on the studies of certain indicators which play crucial role in starting a business in India. The indicators are: setting up a business, getting electricity, allotment of land and obtaining construction permit, complying with environment procedures, complying with labour regulations, obtaining infrastructure related utilities, registering and complying with tax procedures, carrying out inspections and enforcing contracts etc. Coupled with massive projects underway such as World Class capital, coastal corridors, an airport in every district, string of ports along 900km-long coast make the SCS a far cry for AP.

If we take the criteria the National Development Council, the authority that accords special category status, follows to declare a state as SCS, the new rank Andhra Pradesh achieved has made the state most unlikely candidate for SCS.

The criteria for according SCS include:
(i) hilly and difficult terrain,
(ii) low population density and/or sizable share of tribal population,
(iii) strategic location along borders with neighboring countries,
(iv) economic and infrastructural backwardness, and
(v) non-viable nature of state finances.

According to a “Report of the committee for evolving a composite development index of states” (2013) of ministry of finance, government of India, states under this category have a low resource base and are not in a position to mobilize resources for their developmental needs even though the per capita income of some of these states is relatively high.

As on today the states which have been accorded special Category States are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.

Andhra with strong investment-attractive features and resource base may not pass the muster for the SCS despite war bugle sounded by opposition leader Jagan and other opposition parties. The positive investment environment might be the reason for Modi government’s silence on bestowing the SCS on Andhra Pradesh.

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House adopts spl-status resolution after a bitter fight


Andhra Pradesh Assembly today witnessed unprecedented bitterness between the ruling and opposition sides with both sides hurling challenges and counter challenges about their character. The downside of the debate is the involvement of leader of the house and opposition leader in this un-parliamentary war of words. Both of them washed their dirty linen in the house to the embarrassment of the public. While the debate was meant for getting special status to the state, the arguments were about who was more corrupt and dishonest. Normally, while leaders watch, members of the respective sides fight. Today in AP assembly, the responsibility of converting the house into the theater of unwholesome accusations was taken over by opposition leader Jagan and leader of the house Chandrababu Naidu equally. They excelled each other in the drama.

Jagan said Naidu’s name appeared 22 times in the ACB charge-sheet and Naidu retorted that a man, who presents himself every Friday before CBI court in 15 cases, had no right to talk about him. Ultimately, the debate on the special category status to state produced more heat than light. The resolution urging the centre to bestow the special status was adopted at 2.40 PM.

After one adjournment this morning for 15 minutes, the house reassembled at 10.30 am. And speaker asked the CM to make the statement of special status which was inconclusive yesterday. Following is the time line of the proceedings of AP Assembly.

10.30 am : Chief Minister Naidu begins his statement in on Special Category Status to the State.

10.36 am : Leader of Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy raises objection to Naidu’s speech and says CMs speech does not match with the note circulated in the House.

10. 46 am : Fierce exchange of accusatins takes place between Jagan and on the note on Special Category Status.

10.48 am : Naidu grills Jagan by stating that he can an understand predicament of first-timers (Jagan is a first-time MLA) in the Assembly in coming to grips with his statement.

11.25 am : Naidu expresses willingness to resolve the contentious issues between his Government and the Telangana State through a dialogue.

11.50 am : Jaganmohan Reddy starts debate Chandrababu Naidu’s statement. He provokes Naidu by commenting that the CM was unaware of several facts related to State bifurcation. He calls Naidu outdated politician.

12.15 pm : Jagan says giving Special Category Status is Union Cabinet’s prerogative, but in case of A.P. it has not materialized though it is essentially an executive decision

1.00 pm : War of words intensifies in the House. Verbal dual between Opposition Leader Jaganmohan Reddy and TDP/BJP MLA ensues.

1.00 pm : TDP MLA Dhulipalla Narendra takes objection to Jagan’s calling chief minister Naidu an outdated political leader. YSRCP MLAs rush towards Dhulipalla and TDP MLAs also try to enter the well. They pushes and shoved each other.

1.10 pm. : Chief Minister asks TDP MLAs to resume their seats and behave properly. He pleads his flock to ignore unparliamentarily comments by some people.

1. 15 pm : CM laments that “I was not given mike while in the Opposition, but we did not behave this way ( of Jagan).

1.20 pm : Social welfare minister Ravela Kishore Babu raises Jagan’s wealth t and asks him to give back to society the Rs 1 lakh crore Jagan allegedly amassed.

1.21 pm : Ravela says they will give the Mike to Jagan for speaking on special category status if he returned the money. Many others said Jagan had colluded with TRS government in Telangana. He wrote a letter to TRS recommending somebody to make an MLA. He met Harish Rao also in a Hotel. They said Jagan was behaving as if he was in Telangana. He never defended the TDP government when AP telephones tapped.

1.22 pm : Jagan says he will resign if they prove the charges against him. 1.30 pm. : Jagan asks CM to give Centre time frame of a month or 15 days to accord Special Category Status. Naidu was not able to fight because he compromised with centre on cash-for-vote scam.

1.40 pm : Chandrababu Naidu nobody can harm him. “Your father also took cases against to Supreme Court. Nothing had happened. You also can’t do anything against me. I am like fire.

The same continued till 2.40 when the resolution was tabled for the approval of the House. It was approved and the speaker adjourned the House till tomorrow.

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‘Homework’ creates problem in House


An interesting, but heated debate took place on “homework” in Assembly today.

Participating in the debate on chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’ statement on the special category status to Andhra Pradesh, opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy said he belonged to present generation while Chandrababu Naidu to the previous one, whose members were poor in knowledge.

“What I want to tell is why it is necessary to have a special status. We are in a situation where even the CM doesn’t have any understanding of the special status,” he said to cheers from his side and jeers from the treasury benches. ” Yes, ” he said adding that ” Chandrababu Naidu belongs to past generation. We belong to this generation. There are many things which Naidu doesn’t know and we know. We do home- work and he has neither patience nor time to do homework,” Jagan said provoking legislative affairs minister Yanamala Ramakrishndu.

“Jagan might be doing homework on the cases he was facing in courts,” Yanamala said.

Retorting, Jagan said Naidu also must be doing homework, but it could be on bailing himself out of cash-for-vote scam. To prove that he had done homework, Jagan showed to the house a bunch of paper, which, he said had been provided by the research section of Parliament on the benefits of special category status.

These comments plunged the house into disorder and the sub-plot cash-for -vote had become the main issue in the House.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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