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Koti : Victim of politics of special status


Muni Koti, the youth who made a self-immolation bid has been shifted to Vellore hospital for advanced treatment. Koti, who was  in city’s Ruia Hospital till Saturday evening, had  been visited by leaders from all political parties. He is said to have  suffered 90 pc injuries. Doctors described his condition as critical.

The special status, which has been transformed into an emotive subject due to politicization, has triggered widespread resentment following union planning minister Rao Inderjit Singh’s clarification that there had been no plan to accord special status on any state at the centre.

No amount of clarification from union ministers and state government, pacified the political parties and people. Already the issue has acquired political critical mass as it has been  dubbed as the panacea for all ills the state inherited from the bifurcation. While TDP shows this as the stumbling block to whatever it could not do, the opposition parties are using the slogan to make their existence felt in the political irrelevancy they are dropped into post-partition.

The catch phrase is being projected as the highway to reach much sought after destination of  over all development of state. The impression given to the youth, who are crying for jobs and employment, is that unless the centre accords special category status the development of state is not possible. So, the denial of status touched the raw nerve of youth across the state as they are already disappointed and disillusioned with TDP state government, which is not talking of filling the vacancies in the government departments. So, denial of special status, which many think would pave path for the industrialization of state and  create  lakhs of job, is seen as the denial of future for not only the state for the youth of the state also. In 2014 elections  the catch phrase was dangled to attract votes by magnifying the genuine and perceived problems thrown by the division of Andhra Pradesh.

The large congregation at the Congress party meeting at Tirupati is pointer to the people’s disappointment with state and the centre,  and potential of the issue to create problems for the TDP government.  So, Muni Koti, who is a staunch Congress worker, fell victim to the special status-hype mindlessly created by all political parties.

The special category status is normally bestowed on a state by the National Development Council based on criteria (i) hilly and difficult terrain; (ii) low population density or sizeable share of tribal population; (iii) strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries; (iv) economic and infrastructural backwardness; and (v) non-viable nature of state finances. So far, 11 states in two batchez have been accorded the special status as per the concept first introduced in 1969 during 5 th finance commission times. Assam, Nagaland and J&K are the first batch states while Arunachal Pradesh,  Himachal Pradesh,  Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand are second batch ones.Now, Odisha, Bihar, AP etc are demanding this status putting forth there own argument.

Andhra Pradesh, which embarked upon the construction of world-class capital, and which doesn’t hesitate to spend a hundred crore on the remodeling of camp offices of chief minister and modernizing security apparatus, which boasts of world class talent,  long coastline, thriving agriculture, doesn’t look eligible for such status, when taken into consideration the frail economy of the states included in the special category list.

Now, the catch phrase is steeped deeply in the partisan politics of the state. It is difficult to extinguish the fire as the survival of many political parties and future of leaders are at stake. People like Koti  will inject ferocity into the issue by resorting to the acts of self-immolation.








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