Andhra special status: Chandrababu fasts against Centre’s ‘injustice’


Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu began his day-long hunger strike on Friday, protesting against the Centre’s ‘non-cooperation with the state’.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief, who turns 68 today, had previously, while announcing his intention to observe the day-long fast last week, said, “April 20 is my birthday. On that day, I will observe a fast from morning to evening on the state’s problems and the Centre’s policy. I will register my protest against the Centre on this.”

People from all walks of life were seen congregating at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) stadium in Vijayawada to be a part of the Chief Minister’s Dharma Porata Deeksha (fight for justice), a 12-hour fast taken up demanding justice for Andhra Pradesh, which has been denied Special category Status, as promised during state bifurcation.

Instead of spending time with his family on his birthday, Chandrababu Naidu, was seen walking into IGMC stadium to sit on the fast at 7am. The TDP supremo has decided to stage a one-day protest on behalf of the five crore people of the state to safeguard their interest.

After offering floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Portion Sriramulu, Jyothi Rao Phule, he came on to the dais. He was blessed by priests from Tirumala temple, Kanaka Durga temple along with elders from Islam, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain communities.

Chandrababu Naidu sat silently looking at the crowd which included leaders and activists of his party, members from different organisations, students, employees and women, who had come to support his Deeksha demanding implementation of the provisions in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. They could be seen marching past the dais holding placards with slogans demanding justice for Andhra Pradesh.

Elaborate arrangements have been made at IGMC Stadium in Vijayawada, the venue of the day-long hunger strike.

According to reports, at least 200 people’s representatives from Krishna and Guntur districts are expected to join Naidu in observing the fast from 7 am to 7 pm.

All other TDP lawmakers and leaders will observe the fast in their respective constituencies at that time.