Free 600 words essay on Special Status for Andhra Pradesh Protests (SCS To Andhra Pradesh) for school and college students.
There is an enraged clamor over the demand for ‘Special Category Status’ to the state of Andhra Pradesh that has engulfed the south Indian state’s political class. Heated protests, parliamentary demonstrations, and significant visualpolitik has created a stir regarding the necessity and urgency of this demand by the Telegu Desam Party government, an ally of Bhartiya Janata Party in the National Democratic Alliance coalition. Immediately after the national budget was unveiled in the Parliament, legislators from Andhra Pradesh including Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu have been vocal about his disappointment with the ignorance of his demands. He even has threatened to discontinue to be a part of the NDA alliance, but withdrew the statement back later. There has been constant uproar in the Parliament and the Central Government has acknowledged the sensitivity of the matter but could only assure of special funds ambiguously.
The entire gamut of events started with the bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh giving rise to Telangana. Unfortunately, the most important and financially profitable city Hyderabad fell under the control of Telangana as its capital city. According to an estimate, Before the separation, Hyderabad was alone generating Rs. 70,548 crores as revenue. Although it was decided that Hyderabad would be the common capital for 10 years, everyone knew it would amount to nothing as the Telangana government would start taking complete hold of the capital once the state divides, which is what exactly happened. Andhra Pradesh was left with a budget deficit and without an influential capital. Economic woes have stifled the administration of Andhra Pradesh. Apparently, there are claims by the state government that Congress party had promised the Special Category Status to the state at the time of bifurcation. Nevertheless, the demands were never met, even during the regime of close ally BJP.
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A call to unite for peaceful protests reiterating the demands have been made at different locations around the state. It was widely circulated on social media. The Ramakrishna Marg Beach at Vizag became the center stage of the demonstration. It has been said to be inspired by the Jallikattu protests of the neigbouring state Tamil Nadu. Silent protests were held in several major cities of Andhra Pradesh such as Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Tirupati, Nellore, Anantapur, Kakinada, Rajamundry, etc. The main opposition party of Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress has also plunged in the protests led by leader Jaganmohan Reddy.
This brings us to the main question, about what exactly a Special Status State mean. The Fifth Finance Commission introduced SCS in 1969 giving Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, and Nagaland additional Central assistance and tax concessions. Five guidelines were laid down by the National Development Council for a state to be declared as a special state. They are hilly and difficult terrain; low population density or sizable share of tribal population; strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries; economic and infrastructural backwardness; and non-viable nature of State finances. In the later years, some other states were granted this status- Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand. Another feature is that the Special Category States are allotted 30 per cent of Normal Central Assistance and the remaining 70 per cent is split among other States based on their population, per capita income and fiscal performance. Also, such states enjoy concessions in taxation, even customs and income tax. Additionally, these states can be awarded extra funds to carry out centrally-sponsored schemes (CCS) and special projects, if any.
Although the BJP government had made equivocal promises, the fiscally drained state has been provided a separate High Court, ports and other infrastructure, and Centre would sponsor the Polavaram Irrigation Project. As the protests have taken an extreme stage with solidarity among the opposition parties TDP and YSR Congress, the next sequence of events might get troublesome for the Central Government. It remains to be seen as to what kind of relief would be given to Andhra Pradesh. An affirmative decision might open a pandora’s box as another economically backward state Bihar has been demanding the same since quite long. It might not be fiscally prudent and possible for the Centre to heed to such demands, given the present state of economy of India.