It’s close to four years since the state was divided. But the wounded successor Andhra Pradesh is craving for a healing touch. The Union Budget 2018-19 brings under the spotlight the state’s leadership crisis which is seemingly responsible for the raw deal meted out to the state.
The unfair treatment in the union budget apart, Andhra under the NDA dispensation has been subjected to gross injustice in the last four years due to the failure in realising bifurcation promises.
The major promises that came from both the ruling UPA and the opposition NDA governments during that time were – special category status for the truncated state; funding for capital project in Amaravati and Polavaram irrigation project; bridging the revenue gap that had mounted to Rs 16,000 cr during the year of bifurcation itself; package for development of seven backward districts on the lines of the one offered for Bundelkhand.
Special category status
The NDA government backed out from according special category status citing technical grounds. Chief Minister Naidu settled for a package given as a substitute since he could not stretch the issue beyond a point considering his party’s power-sharing in the NDA government.
Leader of Opposition YS Jagan Mohan Reddy also did not take his fight against the NDA government over the promises to the logical end. He discovered newfound love in Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he had a one-on-one meeting with him, after which his party supported the BJP’s candidates in the President and Vice President elections.
In this way, it seemed that both the ruling and the opposition parties were vying to please the NDA rulers, ignoring the fate of the truncated state.
Jana Sena Party leader Pawan Kalyan, who supported the TDP and the BJP in the last general election, took to the streets on the same issue for some time. Later, he projected himself as pro-establishment and pressed the pause button on his fight over the bifurcation promises.