Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was on a day-long strike in Delhi on Monday to demand special category status for his state, PTI reported. The “Dharma Porata Deeksha”, or protest for justice, started at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan on Monday morning and went on till around 8.30 pm. He ended the fast with water offered by former Prime Minister Deve Gowda.
The Telugu Desam Party chief paid tributes at Raj Ghat before before proceeding to the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan.
“Andhra Pradesh can survive only if it is given a special status,” Naidu said at the venue of the strike. “We will protest against all injustice done to us. We will revive our demand for special status for Andhra Pradesh in the Parliament.”
Naidu alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not following “raj dharma” [duty of rulers] and denying the state special status. “[Former PM] Atal Bihari Vajpayee said ‘raj dharma’ was not followed in Gujarat [during the 2002 riots],” he said. “Now, ‘raj dharma’ is not being followed in the case of Andhra Pradesh. We have been denied what is rightfully ours.”
Warning the government of repercussions, Naidu said he wanted to remind the Centre of its promises made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. Naidu said that he was protesting in Delhi as the party was denied permission to stage a demonstration in Parliament premises. The TDP chief also warned the Centre against making “unwarranted” personal attacks against him and his people.
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister will also submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on February 12, said an official statement. Party legislators and ministers also sat on the hunger strike with Naidu, with members of state employee associations, social and student organisations joining in.