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Five year special status to Seemandhra- Can it be given arbitrarily to a state?
To bring BJP on board on Telangana Bill, Congress agreed to accord special state status to Seemandhra for five years. At first it appeared as a solution of stalemate on Telangana row. However a question arises, can special status to a state be arbitrary?

Here we must differentiate between special package and special status. Both are financial packages to state but special package is prerogative of the central government with a fixed amount (not tenure). On the other hand special status to a state is given as per the Constitutional mandate to bring equality among all the states with respect to their financial status irrespective of its population, size, availability of natural resources etc.

It also depends on geographical situation. As the union government has the lion's share of natural resourses, thus all the states have to depend on central government?s grant. By division of revenue sharing, it always make big states to get much advantage whereas small states despite being resourceful might get fewer grants and thus may remain trailing on growth. Thus equitable growth as mandated in Constitution can?t be attained.

That?s why the Planning Commission as well as finance commission follows certain formula while according special status to a state. The Gadgil formula used from 1969 to eve of sixth-plan, modified Gadgil formula from sixth plan to 1990, Gadgil-Mukherjee formula from 1990 to 2000 and finally Gadgil 2000 formula from 2000 onwards are the base for deciding special status (or rather special grant).

The danger of special grant (or status) being arbitrary is that, this may result in becoming a bargaining tool in future particularly in government making. As this is a coalition era, thus states having more MPs and particularly belonging to a regional party, then they would extend support in the government formation only on condition of special grant. This would be a continuous and never ending bargain, resulting in discrimination against the smaller states purely because of lack of number of MPs. This will give rise to severe disparity among states on growth and financial condition. This will also defeat the Constitutional mandate on federal structure that each state should get equal opportunity and equal growth.

That's why special status is always based on certain formula appropriate to the situation so that no injustice is done against any state. UPA government whimsically and arbitrarily declared the special status to Seemandhra not realizing the consequences. BJP too aiming electoral salvage couldn?t envisage the danger. Therefore the Central government urgently needs to withdraw the special status declaration and replace it with a special package.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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To solve the problems of special status for States, to stop hooliganism in Parliament, to enforce Judicial and Police reforms as well as administrative reforms, we need to follow American system of governance. We must have an elected President who is elected on the basis of popular votes. If there are a number of candidates, then the first two candidates who secure maximum number of votes may face a second election and whosoever wins, should become the President of the country. On the same pattern we can have elected governors for each state. Let India be divided into smaller states, for example UP may be divided into four states, Maharashtra may be divided into Vidarbha, Marathwada and Konkan, etc. and let each state have two senators who are elected directly by the people as in the case of USA. The President may appoint Ministers from experts whose appointments may be ratified by the Parliament. Let there be a lower house on the pattern of American House of Representatives. Let all judges of the Courts be elected, the Police Chief should also be elected, the District Attorneys and Registrars of the Courts may also be elected. All these people should be elected for a period of two years only while President and Governor may be elected for a period of four years each. This would ensure less corruption and equal status for all the states with even the smaller states having the same voice as the bigger states. There need not be any post of the Prime Minister and let Governor also appoint ministers in the states whose appointment be ratified by the Assemblies. The Assemblies should have only one house called state assembly. There should be no anti-defection law as there would be no fear of the falling of the Government. The Ministers to be appointed must be experts in their fields. Broadly, the American system of governance be adopted with suitable modifications and the excess expenditure on elections would be compensated by less corruption and better governance.
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