Special status row triggers shutdown call in Jharkhand

Two opposition parties on Saturday called a shutdown on March 2 to seek special status for Jharkhand on the lines of that to be given to Seemandhra after Telangana is carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

The opposition parties wanted to pass a resolution in the assembly, condemning the central government move to grant special state status to Seemandhra while ignoring the long-standing demand of Jharkhand. 

But the state government did not agree.The two opposition parties -- All Jharkhand Students Union and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik have called the shutdown.

“The special state status demand is our long-standing demand. The central government is ignoring the demand of the state where more than 50 per cent live below the poverty line,” said Pradeep Yadav of the JVM-P.

“The Raghurajan committee report says Jharkhand is in fifth position and Andhra Pradesh 14th as far as backwardnesss is concerned. Ignoring the Raghuram Rajan committee report, Jharkhand has not been accorded special status,” Sudesh Mahto, president of AJSU, told reporters.

The Bharatiya Janata Party  has also criticised the central government’s move to ignore Jharkhand’s demand. “We are raising the special status issue since 2004. 

That year, a three-member cabinet ministers’ team met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded special economic package of Rs 10,000 crore for infratrastructure development. 

The decision to accord Seemandhra special category state status was today raised by opposition who demanded that the Centre also grant it to the state.

“It is not the demand of one or the other party. The House should pass a resolution demanding special status for the state,” opposition Ajsu party leader Sudesh Mahto said.Several other opposition leaders also demanded special status.

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