Memorandum exposes TDP’s lack of interest in Special Status

  • Memorandum to PM shows lack of clarity
  • Lots of “blunders”
  • Special funds to tide over financial crunch but no special status

HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam MPs, including a Union Minister, wittingly or unwittingly, exposed their lack of knowledge and most importantly lack of interest regarding the demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh, when a so-called memorandum with a bundle of “blunders” was submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As a matter of fact, the “special status” issue, besides being snowballing into yet another movement to bring pressure on the BJP-led NDA Government to implement the assurance in this regard as per the AP Reorganization Act, is also taking curious twists and turns with each passing day.

After the indefinite fast launched by film actor Shivaji, a BJP supporter demanding a special status to AP, was foiled by the police, there was a widespread protest and relay hunger strikes all over the State. The Congress, which has been desperately waiting for an opportunity to make its presence felt, lashed out at the BJP for going back in implementing the assurance made in Parliament during the UPA regime.

Reacting sharply to the criticism, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Venkaiah Naidu, in order to wriggle out of the tricky situation, has tried to blame the Congress and UPA regime for the special status issue taking a controversial turn. Now, the issue was taken to his doorstep when the AP Students JAC tried to lay siege to his residence in New Delhi on Friday morning.

The students, holding placards, tried to storm into the residence of Naidu, but were prevented by the security and police personnel. Even as the students continued raising slogans, one youth jumped into a trench dug upon the road before the minister’s residence and began shouting slogans. On coming to know about the high drama being enacted before his residence, Naidu came out and walked up to the main gate of his residence and tried to pacify the agitating students.

Naidu once again charged the Congress-led UPA regime for the present muddle over the special status issue. The students put the union minister to embarrassment by grilling him as to why he was not taking the matter seriously and raising the same in the cabinet meetings.

When he tried to pacify the students by stating that he was making all efforts in this regard by talking to the Finance and Home Ministries, the students shot back by pointing out that already one year was over and how much more time it would require.

A peeved Naidu, once again showed his true colours on in this matter by saying that AP does not come under the category of backward states, for which special status would be awarded. Since AP does not come under this category, the 14th Finance Commission had made special allocation of funds to the State to tide over its financial crunch, he explained.

The students accused both Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu of fooling the people and were not serious about ensuring special status to AP. As if to confirm the apprehensions of the students regarding the lack of seriousness on the part of the Telugu Desam leaders, it came to light about the purported memorandum submitted by the party MPs, including a Union Minister to the Prime Minister.

The TDP MPs for the sake of public consumption that they were seriously working towards getting the special status to the State at the earliest submitted the so-called memorandum in this regard.

As a matter of fact, it was a letter addressed to the Prime Minister by Union Minister of State Sujana Choudhary and the TDP MPs have attested their signatures “blindly”. The so-called letter addressed by the TDP’s Union Minister was nothing but a reproduction of the points made by him in RajyaSabha during the introduction of AP Reorganization Act for the purpose of carving out a separate Telangana State.

According to informed sources, the letter was full of mistakes and could be termed as a “bundle of blunders”. Thus it has not only exposed the lack of clarity among the MPs, including the Union minister about the importance of the special status, but also clearly brought to foreground the lack of seriousness among the Telugu Desam MPs.

In fact, the sources wondered how responsible the MPs were, especially a member of the council of ministers, could blindly sign the letter without reading its contents and not bothering to correct the text. It was an irresponsible act, the sources contended.

One thing that had come out openly with these developments is that the BJP and TDP are comrades in arms in taking the people of AP for a ride. Venkaiah Naidu seemed not prepared to antagonize the powers-that-be lest he might lose his ministerial post and Chandrababu Naidu is not prepared to take cudgels against the BJP-led Government at the center. (NSS)

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