Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy made a strong pitch to the Centre for Special Category Status (SCS) to be given to his state at the meeting of the fifth governing council of NITI Aayog. He also slammed the rumours that the position of the Deputy Speaker was granted to his YSR Congress party. Reddy also urged the Prime Minister to be 'gracious' and go ahead and declare his state with an SCS. He pointed out and said that the BJP should not forget its poll promises.
The CM's pitch comes as a way to tackle the looming issues in the debt-ridden state. One of the major crisis Andhra Pradesh faces is lack of jobs. Ever since the bifurcation of Andhra SCS has been the primary demand by a majority of political parties. Reddy said that the implementation of SCS is a way out of the current crisis situation that the state is facing. He slammed the rumours of reports that the Deputy Speaker post was offered to his party YSR Congress Party. Here's what he said:
"The SCS (special category status) has become an essential lifeline for my state. Such being the reality it is disheartening when we hear several rumours and excuses for not granting special category status."
Hence, Reddy has maintained that apart from the implementation of SCS, nothing else was important, not even the special favours delivered by the Centre. He later added that the Union Cabinet on March 2, 2014, had also initiated their decision to grant the SCS to Andhra Pradesh and instructed the Planning Commission under the former government to implement the awaited status to Andhra Pradesh. However, Reddy said that the former state government failed to maintain their pursuit for implementation, even as NITI Aayog was formed after the Planning Commission body was scrapped.
Reddy also alleged that the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government has deprived the state through institutionalised corruption with unemployment being a stagnant issue with no possible way out. He also pointed out the lack of investments in the infrastructure and industries and deteriorating conditions of education and health sectors.
Mentioning that the SCS will be an effective tool that will steer Andhra Pradesh on the path of development, he also stated that it will compensate the state for its economic and financial deprivation, a void that remains unfilled.
"Given this disheartening scenario, I wish to emphasize that grant of SCS is an essential imperative to compensate the state for the economic and financial deprivation and help launch it on the path of development trajectory."
Jagan has maintained that the Prime Minister should be gracious enough and grant the status. He concluded by saying that he can do his part as a CM and request for an SCS. The 46-year old YSRCP chief had grabbed the national spotlight earlier when he reviewed and renamed various schemes and policies launched by the previous government in the state under former CM and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu. Apart from renaming schemes, Reddy also appointed five Deputy Chief Ministers - one each from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Backward Castes, Minority, and Kapu community.
On May 23, YSRCP decimated Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh in 2019 Lok Sabha polls and Assembly elections, by winning 151 seats out 175-seater AP assembly leaving on 23 seats for TDP and only 3 Lok Sabha seats.
(With PTI inputs)