TDP seeks to meet PM to push for AP special category status

Vijayawada, Jul 31: After hinting at reviewing ties with NDA over special status to Andhra Pradesh, TDP today softened its stand and sought for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appointment to implement the AP Reorganisation Act "in letter and spirit."

Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party (TDPP) held its emergency meeting today and demanded implementation of the Act, which led to the creation of Telangana state in 2014, "in letter and spirit".

Andhra Pradesh

The party also decided to organise "Japanese-style" protests to build pressure on the Centre over the Act and special status issue, TDP President and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said, adding they were "life and death issues" for the state and its future.

"We have waited with hope for two years. If the Prime Minister can spare two hours, the problems can be solved," he said. Addressing a press conference at the end of the TDPP meeting, Naidu once again targeted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and also lashed out at the Centre for trying to "shirk" its responsibility over issues concerning Andhra Pradesh.

"What is our mistake that you are doing such injustice to us (AP)? You have no authority to do injustice to us. We are part of India and we are paying every tax, contributing to your (enhanced) income," he said.

"The BJP that supported AP's bifurcation had much more responsibility (in implementing the Act and granting special status). It can't escape from it," he asserted.

"With all my political experience I am requesting. Our MPs will meet the Prime Minister and take up these issues and based on his response we will chalk out our future course of action," the TDP chief said.

Asked about the "Japanese-style" protests, Naidu said people should sport black badges and plant more trees, sweep roads clean, increase productivity. They could go to Delhi and peacefully protest, he said.

"Main objective is to enhance awareness among people. Political parties that are giving call for bandhs and dharnas should desist from such things. Destruction of public property is not a way," the Chief Minister said.

The TDP MPs would stage an act in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue at Parliament complex tomorrow, he said.

"Call it a protest or expression of our anguish. Our MPs will try to draw the nation's attention to the injustice being done to AP," Naidu said. Yesterday, the regional party had indicated that the emergency meet would decide whether or not to continue in the NDA government.

However, in a late night announcement, Naidu said the party was continuing in the Modi government only to protect the state's interests.


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