YSR Congress president Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had finally declared his party’s agenda for the next round of elections. He would fight the poll battle on the Special Category Status (SCS) demand. It was a promise in 2014 and is going to be a potential demand in 2019 elections.
The SCS promise was the only issue that had subsided the bifurcation anger and anguish of the people here in 2014. The way the Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA have handled the bifurcation had caused several wounds to the people of this residuary State. They were neglected and their objections were ignored. Their MPs (though were playing political games inside the Parliament) were humiliated and attacked. Still, it was only when the SCS was announced on the floor of Rajya Sabha, the broken hearts began to heal. It was promised for five years by the Congress. It was asked for 10 years by the BJP. It was sought for 15 years by the TDP.
It was then a promise for the people to choose their leaders in the subsequent elections. The people, with wounded hearts, backed BJP which promised it for 10 years and rallied behind TDP which wanted it for 15 years. They were all promises in which people, particularly the youth saw their future.
But, after the elections, it remained a promise further causing pain to the wounded hearts. TDP president and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu have long lectures in the Assembly twice seeking SCS for the State. He dealt at length the benefits of the SCS raising the hopes of the people. However, he went back on his own words by compromising with the BJP on package and said SCS is a closed chapter.
Four years have gone and nothing had happened. Having lost Hyderabad, a place for employment opportunities, the people, particularly the youth, have been joining every sundry who talked about SCS. They rallied with Chalasani Srinivas, who led a bus yatra in the State on SCS demand. They rushed to Jagan Mohan Reddy who organised Yuva Bheri programmes on SCS. They now have hopes on Pawan Kalyan who formed a Joint Fact Finding Committee to fight for the State issues.
In this backdrop, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s announcement about his party MPs quitting the Parliament on SCS had come as Sanjeevani for them. Jagan had also set the deadline for the Centre to give the SCS or see the political trouble that would follow from April 6 when the MPs quit. He had also set an agenda for the people till then. He is holding protests at every district Collector’s office on March 1 and a massive dharna in Delhi on March 5. This would follow the MPs continuing the protest in Parliament for the remaining period of the budget session that is scheduled to commence on March 5.
By taking up SCS on priority and making it his party’s core issue for the state, Jagan Mohan Reddy had now taken a lead in the State politics. It is for the others to rally behind him. Pawan Kalyan’s fact finding committee would now have to think whether to continue on its own or join Jagan Mohan Reddy. The Left parties would have to ponder on its course of action. The Congress had to decide whether to back Jagan Mohan Reddy or not. The TDP would now have to find a way out to save its votes in the next election.