N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday, 11 February, began his day-long hunger strike in New Delhi to demand special status for Andhra Pradesh and fulfilment of commitments made by the Centre under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
“Today we came here all the way to protest against central government. Yesterday, PM visited Andhra Pradesh, Guntur, one day before the dharna. What is the need, I am asking,” the chief minister said while protesting at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan on Monday.
N Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister”If you wont’t fulfil 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.”
He also said he is “ready to give it back to PM if he makes personal attacks against our people.”
Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Farooq Abdullah Join Protest
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and NCP’s Majeed Memon were among the political leaders who joined Naidu’s protest at the Andhra Pradesh Bhawan on Monday.
Addressing the crowd, Gandhi questioned PM Modi’s commitment to the people of the state.
Rahul Gandhi, Congress President”I stand with the people of Andhra Pradesh. What kind of a PM is he? He did not fulfil the commitment made to the people of Andhra Pradesh. Mr Modi tells a lie wherever he goes. He has got no credibility left.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, too, extended support to Naidu over his day-long hunger strike in New Delhi.
“Our party chief Mamata Banerjee has expressed her support towards Chandrababu Naidu’s hunger strike. She asked our party leader Derek O’Brien to visit Naidu at the venue of hunger strike and express solidarity. The Opposition stands united in the fight against the Modi government,” a senior Trinamool Congress leader told PTI.
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Naidu Visits Raj Ghat Ahead of Protest
Prior to starting what he calls the ‘Dharma Porata Deeksha’ – protest for justice – Naidu paid his tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat and BR Ambedkar.
The Telugu Desam Party president is expected to submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on 12 February, an official statement said.
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The chief minister was joined by his ministers, party MLAs, MLCs and MPs as well as members of state employee associations, social organisations and student organisations.
Leader of several Opposition parties are expected to extend their solidarity to the Andhra Pradesh chief minister’s protest.
The TDP had walked out the BJP-led NDA last year protesting the “injustice” done to Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation.
Not The First Hunger Strike
Naidu had staged an indefinite fast at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in October 2013, demanding that if a separate state is carved out of then unified Andhra Pradesh, both should get equal justice. He was forcibly shifted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital the fifth day after his health deteriorated.
Last year, the chief minister had observed fast Vijayawada on his birthday on 20 April demanding special status for the state.
After quitting the NDA in March last year, the TDP had also moved a ‘no-confidence motion’ in the Monsoon session of Parliament in July 2018, which was defeated.
Modi-Naidu War of Words
This comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Naidu locked horns and commented on each other.
Narendra Modi, on Sunday, had slammed Naidu as ‘backstabber’ of his uncle NT Rama Rao. He had said, “You are a senior in backstabbing your uncle”.
Naidu responded with “These remarks don.t befit the PM’s chair.”
While addressing his party workers in Vijaywada, Naidu said “What did he do with Advani? Advani saved him when Vajpayee demanded his resignation, he nurtured and mentored him, but he didn’t even acknowledge his presence and exchange namaskaram. That is his culture.”
While saying that he doesn’t attack someone personally, he said that he’s forced to because Modi attacked him personally after the PM’s remarks of describing Naidu as ‘Lokesh’s father’.