NEW DELHI: Ahead of the interim budget presentation, the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday staged a protest against the BJP-led central government for not granting the special category status to the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Dressed in black as a mark of protest, the TDP gathered outside the Parliament and shouted slogans, “we want justice,” and “Modi ko hatao, desh ko bachao (remove Modi, save the country)”.
“From day one, we have been demanding for the special status for Andhra Pradesh. It is there in the bifurcation document, but till today they have not fulfilled it. That is why we are protesting,” TDP MP T Narasimhan told ANI.
The TDP had also held protests during the Winter Session of Parliament in December last year to press for their demands.
The demand to bring Andhra Pradesh under the Special Category gained momentum after the region split into two states. Telangana, which is India's youngest state, was carved out of Andhra in 2014. Andhra Pradesh's capital Hyderabad, also a rising IT hub with the majority of jobs, was also shifted to Telangana.
At present, as many as 11 states- Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Mizoram--have been granted financial aid under this category as a majority of these regions have hilly-terrain and have a considerable tribal population.
The responsibility of allocating the funds to special and general category states, which are based on Madhav Gadgil-Pranab Mukherjee (1969) formula is on the shoulders of the Central government.
The Budget Session, which commenced on Thursday, is scheduled to conclude on February 13 with 10 sittings in total.