From today the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will begin a day-long hunger strike in New Delhi to demand special status for the state and urge the centre to fulfil promises made when Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.
Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee said ”Raj Dharma” was not followed in Gujarat (during the 2002 riots). Now, “Raj Dharma” is not being followed in the case of Andhra Pradesh. We have been denied what is rightfully ours. If you don’t get it done, we know how to get it done,” the 68-year-old Chief Minister said. Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had referred to “Raj Dharma” to remind then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of his duty during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), led by Mr Naidu, had quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA last year over what its chief described as “injustice” done to Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation. Mr Naidu accused the Narendra Modi government of going back on a long-awaited promise of special state status for Andhra Pradesh which would grant it a greater share of funds.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had claimed on Sunday that he had gone far beyond offering the special status to Andhra Pradesh. “As Chandrababu Naidu couldn’t develop the state nor give accounts for his expenditure, he is cooking up lies.” he said in a statement.
The TDP chief began the Dharma Porata Seekhsa (a day-long protest for justice) at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan around 8:30 am after paying respects to the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah were among prominent opposition leaders who joined Mr Naidu at the protest.
The Chief Minister will also submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday, an official said.
Andhra Pradesh ministers, TDP lawmakers, parliamentarians, members of state employee associations, social organisations and student organisations will join the fast.