Opposition plans State bandh on Feb 8 as ruling allies lock horns

The Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh have given a State bandh call on February 8 to protest against the neglect of the State by the NDA government in the budget. The Left parties have given the call, while the Congress had backed it. Several trade unions and peoples’ organisations have extended support to the band. The main opposition party, the YSR Congress, is yet to make its mind clear on the issue.

On its part, the ruling TDP, is trying to raise the issue in Parliament and its chief Chandrababu Naidu had held a telephonic conversation with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and is understood have to made his mind clear on the funds allocation to the State. The BJP, which is heading the Modi’s NDA government at the Centre and is part of the Chandrababu Naidu’s government is the State is justifying the meagre funds given to the State in the budget. However, the leaders of both the TDP and the BJP are locking horns against each other hurling abuses at each other.

While the TDP leaders blamed the BJP for neglecting the State in the budget, BJP leaders turn down the allegation and claim that the government is doing more than what was promised to the State. But, some leaders from the TDP have targeted BJP MLC Somu Veerraju, who is more vocal in hitting the TDP, asking him to justify the meagre funds allocation to the State. Veerraju left no stone unturned and had turned the tables on the TDP leaders for misusing the Central funds and not giving due credit to Modi. His direct question to the TDP was why the State government is implementing several Central schemes without the photographs of the Prime Minister. There was no answer from the TDP leaders who ridiculed Veerraju and say that his MLC position was part of the TDP giving credit to the BJP. The war of words continues between the TDP and the BJP leaders in the State diluting the intensity of the injustice done to the State in the budget.

However, the Left parties and the Congress are gearing up for a big showdown on February 8 bandh. The trade unions and civic associations too are up in arms against both the TDP and the BJP and the days are not going to be smooth any more for the ruling combine.

Meanwhile, the Opposition YSR Congress is silent and is only blaming the TDP responsible for the budget injustice. The YSR Congress MPs are happy with the budget on one count – the announcement of the health scheme, which is seen as an extension of the Arogya Sri programme launched by late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy. Leaving this and a few sops given to the farming community, the YSR Congress is also not happy with the budget but fails to nail the BJP. It is to be seen if the YSR Congress backs the February 8 State bandh or remains silent.

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