VIJAYAWADA: While the state BJP leaders have been insisting that Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh is a closed chapter, a recent move by the Centre has rekindled hopes.
A fortnight ago, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman had said that Centre was not considering granting SCS to any state, including Andhra Pradesh. However, in a fresh revelation, it is being said that a request made by Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking SCS has been forwarded to the Fifteenth Finance Commission to look into it.
The request was made by Mr Reddy on May 25 when he met the PM immediately after winning the 2019 elections with a thumping majority. Mr Reddy met the PM even before he was sworn in as the Chief Minister and his first request was SCS for AP.
Until now, the Centre had been sidestepping the SCS demand, citing the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission. The Fourteenth Finance Commission had not made any distinction between the General Category States and Special Category States and accordingly, the Special Category States had ceased to exist.
The latest move by the Centre gains significance at a time the BJP has started implementing its expansion plans aggressively in AP and has been inducting leaders from various parties, especially from the TD.
BJP leaders have been claiming that the party will emerge as a force to reckon with by 2024 in Andhra Pradesh.
Analysts believe that granting SCS can only help the BJP strengthen in the state since the party had faced the wrath of the electorate in the recently concluded polls.
BJP garnered fewer votes than the NOTA option.
“The Government has received requests for grant of Special Category Status from Andhra Pradesh. The latest request dated 26.05.2019 received from the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has been referred to the Fifteenth Finance Commission”, Union minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai told the Lok Sabha recently....