Television channels in the Telugu states always look for some spicy issues to increase their viewership.
For the last few weeks, the confrontation between the Telugu Desam Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party has provided the much-needed spicy fodder for the channels.
And the latest controversy which the channels have started cashing on is the demand for special category status.
The issue, which was a big news till 2016 evoking strong sentiments among the people with YSR Congress party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy holding meetings across the state, subsided during 2017 with the TDP accepting the special financial package offered by the Centre and the other parties too conveniently forgetting the same.
The people, too, have reconciled to the fact that the Centre would not give special category status and have thought may be the special package would compensate for the loss. So, they too have stopped giving much importance to it.
Now that the Centre has given a raw deal to the state in the budget and the TDP making a hue and cry over the injustice meted out to the state, the opposition parties have revived the demand for special category status once again.
YSRC went a step ahead of others and announced that all its MPs would resign on April 6, if the status was not given. As a result, the TDP and its president N Chandrababu Naidu, too, is forced to take up the demand for SCS.
This has given the much needed masala to the channels. Two major channels – TV9 and NTV – have been conducting public debates in every district of Andhra on the subject of SCS.
While TV9 has been conducting debates with select invitees from all parties, NTV has been holding meetings among the youth and also college students on the issue of whether the state requires SCS or special package. Other channels, too, are following suit making the SCS as the most important issue.
So, one won’t be surprised if the SCS will become the only emotive issue in the next 2019 elections, thanks to the fuelling by the media houses!