The State had witnessed national highway blockade the other day with all political parties and people of all sections joining the movement. The ruling TDP too had backed the protest on the national highways which continued for two hours.
The call given by the Left parties and supported by the Congress and the YSR Congress in favour of the Special Category Status went across the State with people voluntarily joining the agitation. The national highways blockade was the first step of the greater agitation planned in the State by the Opposition parties to mount pressure on the Centre to grant the special category status to the State.
The TDP, which has been in alliance with the BJP for the past four years, had suppressed the movement for its political convenience. In the last two years, when the TDP agreed for the special package in the place of special category status, had suppressed the movement by the Left and the Congress. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu went on record several times disowning and even downplaying the special category status and criticising those who are raising the issue. It was a closed chapter for the TDP and the BJP for two years. It remains a closed chapter for the BJP even today. But it is a chapter reopened for the TDP as people have not given up the demand and it became a sentimental issue. Having reopened the chapter, the TDP had to support the demand and had backed the State bandh on March 8 and the national highways blockade on March 22.
The Opposition parties are strong on the demand and there is no way that it can be denied for the State. The special category status has to be granted to the State, even if all the benefits are not extended. People are so attached to the tag and the political parties, for any reason, cannot deny it to the State.
The mood is that people are aware of the extension of the benefits of the special category status to the 11 States that have been enjoying it. They are also aware of the extension of the industrial incentives and other benefits to the North Eastern States and announcement of special package to the Bundelkhand. Nothing less than these benefits, would compromise people in the State in their fight for the special category status.