Sunday, January 24, 2021
Home Opinions All you need to know about Andhra Pradesh's 'special status' demand and why TDP...

All you need to know about Andhra Pradesh’s ‘special status’ demand and why TDP might be quitting the NDA Govt

Yesterday, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu announced that two of the ministers in the central government would be resigning as the demands of the state were not being met in a late night press conference.

The press conference came after Arun Jaitley said that in place of a ‘special category’ a ‘special package’ which would be equivalent in terms of benefits could be arranged for. However, this offer did not satisfy the Andhra Chief minister. Though TDP has pulled out of the government it has still not announced its exit from NDA in categorical terms

The BJP responded to the announcement by saying that the claims of Chandrababu Naidu regarding lack of support from the centre were a lie.

Meanwhile, the Congress party has tried to gain political mileage from this ‘unfulfilled promise’ of special category for Andhra Pradesh even before the TDP and BJP’s difference came out in the public domain.

What is special category status and why does Andhra deserve it?

While passing the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, the new state was promised a special category status by major political parties. The special category status enables the states to get special grants and higher central assistance in the implementation of central schemes. In addition to this, industries set up in these regions are given special incentives.

The feature/features that a state has to possess for special category states was earlier decided as : (i) hilly and difficult terrain (ii) low population density and / 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.

Since the united Andhra was getting a large share of its revenues from Hyderabad, the new state of Andhra Pradesh would lack in funds for its sustenance (Hyderabad will eventually become the capital of Telangana alone). Hence the new state of Andhra Pradesh claimed that it was eligible for special category status.

The main complaint of the TDP is that the BJP has not fulfilled the promises made to the new state under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. As per the TDP, the state was supposed to get a special category status as per the act. However, this term is not explicitly mentioned in the act. The part X (infrastructure and special economic measures) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act [ pdf ] says :

94. Fiscal measures including tax incentives.––

(1) The Central Government shall take appropriate fiscal measures, including offer of tax incentives, to the successor States, to promote industrialisation and economic growth in both the States.

(2) The Central Government shall support the programmes for the development of backward areas in the successor States, including expansion of physical and social infrastructure.

(3) The Central Government shall provide special financial support for the creation of essential facilities in the new capital of the successor State of Andhra Pradesh including the Raj Bhawan, High Court, Government Secretariat, Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, and such other essential infrastructure.

(4) The Central Government shall facilitate the creation of a new capital for the successor State of Andhra Pradesh, if considered necessary, by denotifying degraded forest land.

Arun Jaitley’s press conference confirms centre’s firm support, promises special package

In a press conference held before TDP’s announcement, the Finance Minister had said that the ‘special category’ promise was made before the report of 14th finance commission report was out. Finance commission is a constitutional body which is set up every five years to decide the basis on which funds are shared between centre and states. The 13th finance commission’s recommendations were applicable to the period 2010-2015.

The 14th finance commission’s recommendations are applicable to the period 2015-2020. The report was submitted on 14th December 2014 and the centre had accepted the recommendations of the commission. It had removed the ‘special category’ as the devolution of central funds was raised from 32% to 42%. In spite of this, the commission had made provision to help out states with revenue deficits. The commission had taken the implications of Andhra bifurcation act as well into account and made specific recommendations to the centre.

The Finance Minister highlighted that Rs 5000 crores had been disbursed for the Polavaram project and Rs 2500 crores had been disbursed for constructing the new Capital for the state. He also informed the press that the tax incentives promised in the act were already fulfilled in his first two budgets. The state had asked the centre to disburse funds through NABARD and the same demand had also been accepted in principle. The details of the ‘proposal’ were yet to be finalised, the Minister said.  He went on to say that the centre stood by the promises made in the act.

Most of the central schemes are jointly funded by the central and state government. While other states contributed 40% of the money for implementation of central schemes, special category states would have to contribute only 10% of the schemes’ budget. Arun Jaitley clarified that the ‘special category’ benefits were now restricted to the 90:10 funding formula in central sector schemes. Andhra Pradesh is already getting this benefit as per the Finance Minister. Thus, the claim that BJP is cheating Andhra Pradesh seems to be unfounded.

TDP’s move could be a political manoeuvre

Since the tantrum thrown by TDP doesn’t seem to be based on financial reality, one is inclined to believe that this new posturing is a purely political manoeuvre. The opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh have been accusing that TDP has failed in getting a special status for Andhra Pradesh. The argument seems to have found credence among the people as well. Therefore in order to survive the competition and retain its position, the TDP has been forced to assert itself in the public domain and posture itself as a true representative of Andhra region. This may also be a part of a move to deny the opposition from gaining politically by whipping up the sentiments on ‘special category’.

The TDP had benefited from its alliance with BJP electorally in 2014. Considering the popularity of the PM, it is likely to benefit in 2019 as well. Probably, that is the reason for Chandrababu Naidu refraining from a complete walkout from the NDA. Instead, he has decided to walk out of the cabinet and continued to stay within the alliance. It will be interesting to see as to how TDP will play its cards in the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections in 2019.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

 

Related Articles

Trending now

Haryana Police confirms that the ‘masked man’ was forced by farmer union leaders to make false allegations against police

While the masked man had said he was tasked by inspector Pradeep to kill farmer leaders, there is no inspector by that name

‘Kisan parade’ in Delhi on Republic Day given green light, claim protesters, Police deny receiving any written submission regarding route: Details

Farmer leaders have claimed that they have received approval to conduct a tractor parade in Delhi on the occasion of Republic Day.

Watch: Taking offence at Jai Shree Ram slogans, Mamata Banerjee walks off stage even as PM Modi and Bengal Governor look on

Mamata Banerjee who was sharing the stage with PM Modi, lamented "being disrespected" because she heard Jai Shree Ram slogans

Noida, Ghaziabad, Prayagraj, Kanpur: Hoax bomb threats ahead of Republic Day keep Uttar Pradesh police on tenterhooks

Fear and panic has the state of Uttar Pradesh in its grips after at least six hoax bomb threats were reported from Noida, Ghaziabad, Allahabad and Kanpur

How Congress spread lies about a woman being beaten up by goons in ‘lawless UP’ while the police did nothing: Read what really happened

Recently, a video of a pleading lady requesting UP Police officers to save her from two assailants was doing the rounds on the internet.

Stripped, hung upside down, one other beaten with pipe and still in their custody: 5 big revelations by ‘Masked Man’ Yogesh about farmer leaders

On Saturday, however, masked man Yogesh has made revelations that would give everyone cause for immense concern.

Recently Popular

#BanSportsTak: Netizens angry after India Today owned sports channel claims Virat Kohli suffers from ‘disorder’

"It is a disorder for a captain to (be as aggressive as Virat Kohli). It might be acceptable for a player to have this aggression (but nor for a captain)," the journalist claimed.

Rajdeep Sardesai ‘baffled’ by India Today survey that shows Modi govt winning a sweeping majority if elections held today: Details

Taking to Twitter, Sardesai said that he was 'baffled' to see that despite the economic hardships resulted by the pandemic, Indians still love the Modi government.

How Brazil thanked India for sending Coronavirus vaccine doses: Pawan Putra Hanuman

President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has expressed his gratitude towards India and Prime Minister Modi for vaccine exports from our country.

Gujarat Forest Dept to take legal action against Christian Evangelist Paul Dhinakaran over unauthorised use of the department’s logo

Website of Paul Dhinakaran claims of collaborating with the Gujarat Forest Department, a claim junked by the latter

Left-wing fury at Vir Sanghvi shows just how much ‘liberals’ hate Hindus

Vir Sanghvi published a column about the ‘shameful persecution’ of Munawar Faruqui and the ‘bogus controversy’ around Tandav

‘I allow you housewives to have extra-marital affair with man of your choice’: Video of Mamata Banerjee’s ‘progressive’ speech goes viral

Mamata Banerjee says she is so "flexible" that she has given permission to housewives to have extra-marital affairs
- Advertisement -

 

Haryana Police confirms that the ‘masked man’ was forced by farmer union leaders to make false allegations against police

While the masked man had said he was tasked by inspector Pradeep to kill farmer leaders, there is no inspector by that name

‘Kisan parade’ in Delhi on Republic Day given green light, claim protesters, Police deny receiving any written submission regarding route: Details

Farmer leaders have claimed that they have received approval to conduct a tractor parade in Delhi on the occasion of Republic Day.

Netizens call out the hypocrisy of Star Wars on ‘bullying’ and ‘racism’ after it comes out in support of liberal actress but ignores bullying...

Despite the vitriolic and racist comments of Krystina Arielle, Star Wars somehow decided to cut her some slack.

The life and times of Vibhor Anand: A clown, fraud or simply deranged? The story of his descent into wild conspiracy theories

Vibhor Anand has spread bizarre conspiracy theories about the death of Sushant Singh Rajput and was arrested for it.

Legendary talk show host Larry King dies in Los Angeles weeks after being hospitalised for Covid-19

Larry King passed away on Saturday at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, announced his company Ora Media

Watch: Taking offence at Jai Shree Ram slogans, Mamata Banerjee walks off stage even as PM Modi and Bengal Governor look on

Mamata Banerjee who was sharing the stage with PM Modi, lamented "being disrespected" because she heard Jai Shree Ram slogans

Noida, Ghaziabad, Prayagraj, Kanpur: Hoax bomb threats ahead of Republic Day keep Uttar Pradesh police on tenterhooks

Fear and panic has the state of Uttar Pradesh in its grips after at least six hoax bomb threats were reported from Noida, Ghaziabad, Allahabad and Kanpur

‘Journalist’ Uday Rana uses filthy language sitting next to a woman, then ‘complains’ about the woman not talking to him

'Journalist' Uday Rana whines that a lady on the fight with him did not acknowledge his "colourful" conversations

Even as ‘masked man’ Yogesh says he was tortured by farmers to lie about murder plot, Rakesh Tikait blames central govt

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait also alleged that a conspiracy has been hatched to kill four of them and create disturbances during their tractor rally.

AAP MLA Somnath Bharti sentenced to 2 years in jail for assaulting AIIMS staff, soon gets bail from High Court

A Delhi Court had found AAP MLA Somnath Bharti guilty of manhandling security personnel at the AIIMS and sentenced him thereof

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,900SubscribersSubscribe