Tamilians Jallikattu fight inspires Telugus to revive fight for Special Category Status

  • First move to press for Status to be held at Vizag on Jan 26

Amaravati: The demand for Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, a promise that was made to the people on the Floor of Rajya Sabha at the time of bifurcation, is gaining ground once again, thanks to the fight by the neighbouring Tamilians who fought successfully for their traditional Jallikattu game. The fight by the Tamilians, including the government, had made the government to bow before the public demand and allow Jallikattu.

Taking inspiration from this success, the demand for the Special Category Status (SCS) to the State is gaining ground. While a non-political forum that has been raising the voice for the past two years under the leadership of Chalasani Srinivas renewed the demand, a group of youth joined hands in the social media and called for a protest gathering at R K Beach in Visakhapatnam in support of the demand. This gathering is slated for January 26, the Republic Day, to register their protest.

The promise for Special Category Status and the subsequent claims of the political parties on the development projected through it had raised the hopes of the youth on their future. The wounds caused by the bifurcation began to heal only after the Congress and the BJP promised that the SCS would bring greater development to the State in the form of industries and that would create employment. However, the government’s going back on the SCS and announcing just a package and the TDP compromising on the issue, had again mutilated the healing wound.

The promises of Congress, BJP & TDP on the benefits of the SCS to the State are afresh in the memories of the people. It was for this promise that they have voted the BJP-TDP combine in the State, particularly after Narendra Modi, Venkaiah Naidu and Chandrababu Naidu promising to give SCS to the State and Pawan Kalyan standing guarantee for the promise at the Tirupati meeting. Though the Congress-led UPA government had promised the SCS for five years, the BJP had promised to extend it for 10 years and the TDP had sought it for 15 years. It was on this demand and the promise, the people of the 13 districts have admired Venkaiah Naidu and had even honoured him in every town for his lone battle for the state at the time of bifurcation.

The video clipping of Venkaiah Naidu demanding for the SCS for 10 years in the Rajya Sabha were liked and shared by millions admiring him, worshiping him and thanking him for standing for their cause. They made him a hero.

Now, in power for two-and-a-half years, the BJP had gone back on the promise of granting SCS for 10 years, while the TDP had shut its demand for 15 years. The two parties have compromised on a package in place of Status, which is not accepted by the people. They have been raising the demand on and off in their own way all these days. But the success of the Tamil brothers fight for Jallikattu had brought these unhappy youth and people together and the fight is set to begin at Visakhapatnam.

Interestingly, Telugu film industry had extended support for this move with some heroes openly extending support for the demand. Hero-turned-politician, Pawan Kalyan and others have lent their voice for the Special Category Status demand.

The voices that have been silent on the demand due to the suppressive measures by the Chandrababu Naidu government for all these days are set to make noise once again in the larger interests of the State. It is now to be seen how the BJP-TDP combine would handle this, if it goes viral as in the case of Jallikattu.

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