State wise wrap: Poll fervor in Andhra Pradesh and a state wide strike in Manipur

18 July, 2018

Aadithyan Jose Phillip & Abhinaya Harigovind

This curation of stories sums up the happenings that have made news in different states of the country today. Ahead of the 2019 Legislative Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, political parties vie for support even as the ruling TDP moves a no confidence motion against the central government, the Manipur University Students’ Union launched a state wide strike seeking the removal of the University’s Vice Chancellor, the Karnataka and Haryana governments are facing the heat for having gone on a spending spree and 19 people have been arrested in the cash for jobs scam in the Assam Public Service Commission.

Poll fervor in Andhra Pradesh: A no confidence motion and tall promises

The Congress general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh, Oomen Chandy said that only Rahul Gandhi would be able to secure Special Category Status (SCS) for the state if the Congress was elected to power. The ruling TDP has been demanding SCS for Andhra Pradesh ever since the bifurcation of the state, claiming that the loss of Hyderabad to Telangana put it in a disadvantaged position.

As Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Praja Sankalpa Yatra or outreach program entered its 218th day, he promised the people he met on the yatra across different districts of the state that his Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress party would solve all their problems if the party came to power in the State Legislative Assembly elections of 2019. He also accused the incumbent Telugu Desam Party (TDP) of corruption, declaring that he would ensure transparency in governance if elected.

TDP MP Kesineni Srinivas moved the first no confidence motion in 15 years against the central government. It was supported by other opposition parties including the Congress, RJD, AAP and TMC. The no confidence motion was moved on the grounds that the BJP government had failed to fulfill its promises of a special economic package for Andhra Pradesh after the bifurcation of the state. Two TDP ministers had resigned from the BJP government in March this year, demanding SCS for the state. The testing of the motion of no confidence in Parliament could indicate who will and will not support the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

State wide strike in Manipur: Student clash with police in Imphal

The Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) launched a 48 hour state wide strike that was supported by all major student organisations in the state. Students clashed with police forces in Imphal. Two police officers, who caned a group of students, were suspended. Educational institutions, government offices and business establishments remained closed and transport services were suspended. The MUSU has been agitating since May 30 demanding the ouster of the University’s Vice Chancellor, Adya Prasad Pandey, on grounds that he misused funds belonging to the University and made arbitrary appointments. A fact finding committee has been constituted by the HRD Ministry to look into the allegations against the VC.

Kerala HC slams the state government for failing to curb campus violence 

Student politics takes an ugly turn in Kerala. The Kerala High Court slammed the state government for not curbing campus violence. This was said with regard to the murder of a Students’ Federation of India leader on Kochi’s Maharaja College campus earlier this month, allegedly by members of the Campus Front, another student political party. The court had earlier directed the state government to stop political activities on college campuses.

State governments go on a spending spree

The Haryana authorities are now recovering the money that the government had accidentally paid by mistake, in the form of current and former legislators’ tax. The state had accidentally paid Rs 2.87 crore over the last eight years, without knowing that the amount was to be paid by the MLAs.

Meanwhile in Karnataka, the CM received flak for appropriating government funds to present MP’s with iPhones and costly laptop bags, with the whole package costing over Rs 1 lakh. After receiving a letter from BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar that these extravagant acts were unacceptable, the CM shot back in a tweet that these gifts were bought with his own money and that he presented MPs with  phones last year and that all MPs, including BJP MPs, had accepted them.

Assam-jobs for cash

As many as 19 police and administrative officers have been arrested, including a police officer who is the daughter of a BJP MP. They were arrested after discrepancies were found in their answers during interrogation. They were connected to a multi-crore scam in recruitment to the Assam Public Service Commission.