National

Denial of special status: AP opposition parties call for bandh on Sat

Ch. R. S. Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on September 09, 2016

Congress party legislators led by leader of the Opposition Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy sport black shirts on a protest march to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly in Hyderabad on Thursday. They were protesting the draft of the special package announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday night, and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for his failure to get Special Category Status for the state. -- Mohammed Yousuf

Andhra Pradesh is preparing for a bandh on Saturday as the Opposition parties -- the YSR Congress, Congress, and the two Left parties (CPI and CPM) -- have given a joint bandh call in protest against the denial of special category status to the state by the NDA government.

The ruling Telugu Desam Party - an ally of the BJP - is also demanding special category status and it has made known its stand to its ally, but the party is unwilling to take to the streets and force the issue. "Let us take whatever the Centre gives in the form of special assistance in lieu of special category status and keep up the pressure on the Centre for SCS. Bandhs and agitations here will be counter-productive," Chief Minister N. Chandra Babu Naidu has said, and his party leaders and cadre are repeating the lines.

Pawan Kalyan factor: Cine actor and Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan, who supported the TDP-BJP alliance in the 2014 elections, is also in favour of the immediate sanction of special category status to the state. He has threatened to launch an agitation and is holding a public meeting in Kakinada later today, where he is expected to announce his future course of action.

The BJP is getting increasingly isolated on the issue in the State.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 09, 2016
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