As Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu accepted the special package for Andhra Pradesh, the opposition is most likely to take up the issue and make things difficult for Naidu.
Naidu had accepted the Centre's argument that they could not give a special status to the residual state of Andhra Pradesh. He had accepted the special package announced by the NDA government late on Wednesday evening.
Following this, on Thursday, the opposition parties got together and created pandemonium at the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. The main opposition, YSR Congress Party, has called for a state-wide bandh on September 10 to protest the denial of special status. Other political parties are also joining in the call for bandh.
At the assembly, they raised slogans against the Centre and the Telugu Desam Party and stalled the proceedings. They wore black shirts as a mark of protest and threw pieces of paper at the Speaker K. Sivaprasada Rao.
Amid the ruckus, the Speaker adjourned the house twice in quick succession. YSR Congress leader Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy demanded chief minister’s resignation for failing to get special status for the state, despite being an ally of the Centre.
The legislators prevented Naidu from making a statement on the special financial package announced by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Naidu also tried to introduce the GST Bill for ratification and he urged the opposition members to cooperate with the government in passing the bill unanimously. The Speaker finally adjourned the house for the day.
“The chief minister should apologise for his midnight statement welcoming Jaitley’s announcement of financial package. Nothing short of special status will satisfy the people. It is their right. And, it was promised to the people at the time of bifurcation two years ago,” Jaganmohan Reddy said.
Jaitley had cited the constraints placed by the 14th Finance Commission for granting special category status to AP. But he promised that the benefits would be equivalent to the special status. Tax concessions and full funding of Polavaram irrigation project are part of the financial package, though the full amount has not been specified.
Meanwhile, Pawan Kalyan had taken up the mantle of the 'special status' issue and his first meeting at Tirupathi was the precursor for his three-phased attack on the Centre. Preparations are underway for Pawan Kalyan's maiden political rally at the coastal town of Kakinada in East Godavari district.