Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu is on a day- long fast, a protest for justice at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan, New Delhi. Naidu is likely to be joined by his ministers, MLAs, MLCs and MPs.
Before beginning the fast, Naidu offered tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat and to B R Ambedkar at Andhra Pradesh Bhavan. The chief minister has participated in ‘Dharma Porata Deeksha’ in 11 districts of Andhra Pradesh, so far.
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister launched a tirade against the BJP-led central government, alleging Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not following ‘raj dharma’ by denying the state special status. “On behalf of five crore people, I’m warning this government… I came here to remind you of the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act,” he said.
“If you wont’t fulfill our demands, we know how to get them fulfilled. This is about self-respect of people of Andhra Pradesh. Whenever there is an attack on our self-respect, we won’t tolerate it. I am warning this government and particularly the PM to stop attacking an individual,” Naidu said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah also reached Andhara Bhawan to extend their support to the the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is also expected to show his support to Naidu.
A large number of protesters from Andhra Pradesh have also reached the national capital. The state government hired two special trains to ferry people to Delhi.
A TDP delegation led by Naidu will submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday.
On April 20 2018, on the occasion of his birthday, the TDP chief had observed fast Vijayawada demanding special status for the state.
In October 2013, Naidu had staged an indefinite fast at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan, demanding that if a separate state is carved out of then unified Andhra Pradesh, both should get equal rights. He, however, on the fifth day of his protest was forcibly shifted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
Naidu has been trying to unite the opposition parties to take on the BJP in the general elections. Over the last three months, he has held a number of meetings with the opposition party leaders on forming an anti-BJP front.
The party has been accusing the Narendra Modi government of not releasing enough funds for the Polavaram irrigation project, the Kadapa steel plant and Amravati, the under-construction ultra-modern state capital. On Sunday, taking exception to PM Modi addressing him as “father of Lokesh” at a rally in Guntur, the Andhra Pradesh chief mnister launched a counter-offensive by dragging his wife into the row. “You have estranged your wife. Do you have any respect in the family system,” Naidu asked Modi.
Taking a swipe at Naidu and his son Lokesh, Modi described the TDP rule in the state as “father-son government.” At a particular juncture of his speech, he addressed Naidu as “N Lokesh’s father.” He also said Naidu promised the sunrise of Andhra Pradesh but was fixated with the rise of his own son Lokesh.