The BJP leadership at the national level is dilly-dolling on fulfilling the promises to Andhra Pradesh. The delay or denial is against the constitutional obligation. The BJP-led government is obligated to fulfil every promise that was made to the State – some promises part of the AP Reorganisation Act and some part of the official statement made in the floor of Rajya Sabha by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and later passed by the Cabinet. Both are constitutionally binding on the successive government unless and until they are undone constitutionally, by an Act or a decision of the Cabinet.
But, the Modi’s dispensation is unwilling to undo the obligations constitutionally. It is delaying or denying them one by one with a political motive. The BJP, by extending the benefit to the State wants people to give equal political benefit to the party.
It was first the special category status to the State that was denied and a special package proposal was put forward. Ironically, the TDP had agreed for it two years ago and was asked to evolve a method to receive the funds under the package. Having failed to evolve the method in two years, the TDP is now rejecting the package and asking for the special category status tag, knowing fully well that the BJP would not give it.
Now, it is the railway zone for the State which is being denied. The steel plant at Kadapa and sea port at Dugarajapatnam are also being delayed indicating that these two would also be denied at a later date. A high level meeting held in Delhi in which AP Chief Secretary was present, had finally declared that granting of railway zone and Dugarajapatnam port was not feasible. This decision is a big setback to the people of Andhra Pradesh.
Coming back to the political intentions of the BJP in giving the bifurcation benefits to the State, it is the failure of the party leadership to grow in the State. People were overwhelmed by the leadership of Narendra Modi in the 2014 elections. They rallied for him with high hopes of corruption-free government. But, then it was the failure of the leadership in consolidating its base in the State and taking the sympathisers as the cadre. With a soft corner to the ruling TDP, the top leadership of the BJP AP State unit have failed to expand and strengthen its base in the State so as to give the political benefits that the BJP national leadership is looking forward. That way, it is not the fault of the people to extend the political benefits to the BJP, but a clear fault of the State leadership to put in the mechanism in place to get the political benefits in return of fulfilling the promises.
Well, Modi and Shah cannot punish the people of Andhra Pradesh, for the failure of their own leadership in the State who could not consolidate the peoples’ support for the party crossing the boundaries of the TDP here. The TDP loyalists are heading the BJP in the State who are standing in the way of the BJP getting the political benefits from the people in return to the bifurcation benefits. The BJP, before thinking of any benefits to the party in the State, should first expect the same from its own leaders who are more loyal to the TDP than the BJP.