Amaravti, Feb 8: ‘Modi go back’ slogans rent the air in a Tirupati university on Friday, two days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a rally at Guntur.
The Joint Action Committee of various student groups staged a sit-in on the campus of Sri Venkateswara University in the temple town of Tirupati even as the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and some mass organisations are gearing up for black flag protests against Modi’s visit on Sunday.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has already asked TDP cadres to hold protests during Modi’s visit against his ‘betrayal’ of Andhra Pradesh.
The students who staged the protest in Tirupati on Friday recalled that it was at the same university that Modi, while addressing an election rally in 2014, had promised Special Category status to the state. They alleged that Modi has gone back on the promise made in front of Lord Venkateswara. “How can he come to the state after this betrayal,” asked a protestor holding a banner with the slogan of ‘Andhra drohi (betrayer) Modi go back’.
The student leaders said they would hold innovative protests against Modi’s visit from Saturday.
This would be Modi’s first visit to Andhra Pradesh since the TDP pulled out of the BJP-led NDA government to protest its failure to accord the Special Category status and to fulfil other commitments made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014.
During a video conference with BJP workers of Andhra Pradesh last month, Modi had targeted Chandrababu Naidu for corruption. At the Guntur rally, Modi is likely to target Naidu again and explain what his government had done for the state during the last four-and-a-half years.
A day after Modi’s visit to Andhra Pradesh, Naidu is scheduled to stage a day-long sit-in in New Delhi to protest against the Centre’s ‘unjust’ attitude towards the state. Leaders of various non-BJP parties are likely to join Naidu in this protest.
Simultaneous elections to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and the Lok Sabha are likely to be held in April.