Naidu’s hunger strike: Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi join protest over special status for Andhra

Manmohan singh rahul gandhi Chandrababu Naidu

New Delhi, Feb 11: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu began a 12-hour long fast here on Monday, demanding the Centre to accord special category status and fulfil other commitments made in Andhra Pradesh 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.

UPDATES:

** Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, DMK’s T Siva and TMC’s Derek O’ Brien join at Andhra Pradesh CM’s fast in Delhi.

Adressing the crowd, Kejriwal said, “Hum Pradhan Mantri Ji ko kehna chahate hain, woh BJP ke PM nahi hain, woh is desh ke logon ke PM hain. Jis tarah se PM vipakshi rajyon ke sarkaron ko treat karte hain, aise treat karte hain jaise pradhan mantri Hindustan ke nahi Pakistan ke hain”.

** Chandrababu Naidu and other leaders at ‘Dharma Porata Deeksha’ – his day long hunger strike against central govt over the issue of special status to Andhra Pradesh.

Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Farooq Abdullah Join Protest

** Former Prime Minister and Congress leader Manmohan Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and NCP’s Majeed Memon joined Naidu’s protest against the central government at Andhra Pradesh Bhawan on Monday.

Addressing the crowd, Gandhi questioned PM Modi’s commitment to the people of the state.

Clad in black shirt to protest a raw deal meted out to the state, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief began ‘Dharma Porata Deeksha’ at Andhra Pradesh Bhavan.

After paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, Naidu along with other TDP leaders reached AP Bhavan, where they garlanded the statue of Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar before launching the protest.

Naidu’s cabinet colleagues, MPs, state legislators and leaders of student and employees groups and mass organisations were sitting with him on the fast.

A large number of protestors have also joined Naidu in the 12-hour long protest. They reached the national capital by two special trains hired by the state government.

Leaders of several non-BJP parties were expected to meet Naidu and express their solidarity.

Naidu, whose TDP pulled out of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance last year, so far staged similar protest in 11 out of 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The TDP chief will submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday.

Naidu sat on the fast a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Andhra Pradesh. Addressing a rally in Guntur, he slammed Naidu and claimed that the Centre has extended all possible assistance to the state during the last five years.

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