Kaligiri, Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore district: The land of Telugus, Telugu people and culture, Telugu pride and honour—these words fill your heart with pride. They evoke a powerful sentiment.The names of Alluri Sitarama Raju, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu, Potti Sriramulu and other great Telugu warriors of the freedom struggle remind us of our hoary history and the relentless
struggle waged by them for freedom and Telugu pride.
To our misfortune today, we have a chief minister who has mortgaged Telugu pride in Delhi.
Special category status was incorporated as a part of the state’s bifurcation in the Reorganisation act with the entire Parliament as witness. It was a solemn assurance given by the Centre to the state of Andhra Pradesh. If this state which has suffered severely on account of bifurcation, must get back on its feet and recover, if it has to progress like other states, if the youth of the state have to find suitable jobs, then there is no other alternative except to grant it special category status. My heart aches at the thought of injustice which has been done to Andhra Pradesh by the non-implementation of commitments made to the state at the time of its division. However, Chandrababu Naidu seems to have mortgaged the interests of the state when it comes to the question of special category status.
Before the 2014 elections, Chandrababu Naidu said that special category status should be granted for 15 years and not five years. He told the people of Andhra Pradesh that he alone could get SCS and that people should therefore vote him to power. Later, as it down turned out, he changed his stance more frequently than any other politician known to Andhra Pradesh and started singing a different tune with each passing day. He once famously said that a special package would be a bigger boon for the state of Andhra Pradesh as compared to special category status! He gave his nod to the proposal of a special package without seeking the consent of the people of Andhra Pradesh. When Chandrababu saw the resentment which erupted across Andhra Pradesh and when the common masses protested, he started enacting a new drama.
I have a few questions for Chandrababu Naidu:
Who gave you the right to forego special category status which had been granted to Andhra Pradesh and enacted by Parliament?
Why did you seek a special package instead of special category status? Your party is a part of the NDA government at the Centre. Didn't your two MPs approve the five budgets which were presented by the Union government and passed by parliament? Why this drama now claiming that injustice had been done to Andhra Pradesh?
In 2017-18 before the union budget was presented in Parliament, didn’t you announce to the media on January 26, that AP had received more funds from the Centre than any other state? Now, how can you deceive people by saying that AP had not been given enough funds? Only the other day during Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s speech even after public anger found widespread expression on the issue of injustice to Andhra Pradesh, didn’t your ministers in the NDA government thump their desks cheering the Finance Minister's speech? This drama being enacted by you and your MPs shows that neither you nor your parliamentarians want special category status. Are you not trying to mislead people by portraying as if AP has been short-changed to a small extent?
For about 13 days now you have only been indulging in leaks. You have not come out with any statement explaining your stand on this issue nor have you questioned the Centre. Why did you forego the special category status and enact a drama for a package which has not been given? Please stop these dramas at least now. You do not have the integrity and commitment to serve the people. You are only interested in pursuing your own selfish objectives. Our party has been consistent in its demand for SCS which is like a Sanjeevini or panacea for the state.
We launched a sustained fight at the very beginning when we saw that justice was being denied to Andhra Pradesh. The YSRCP did not give a thought to victory or defeat at the hustings. After one year had passed without special category status being granted, we launched a protest in Delhi. We conducted several protests across the state of Andhra Pradesh. In Guntur, I went on an eight-day-long fast! Injustice to the state of Andhra Pradesh has reached an all-time high. Andhra Pradesh has been betrayed once again and for this reason, since the interests of the people of the state are paramount to YSRCP, as a responsible party we intensified the struggle under the slogan, "special category status is our right, do not cheat us with packages" ('hoda maa hakku, package to mosam cheyyadu'). On the last day of the budget session, April 6, if we find the Union government still unyielding, all YSRCP MPs will quit the Lok Sabha. Special category status to Andhra Pradesh is our lifeline and we will fight for it till the last breath.