Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will sit on a day-long fast on his birthday - April 20 - in protest against the Centre's refusal to give Special Category Status (SCS) and fulfil the assurances given in the Rajya Sabha at the time of bifurcation. The fast will begin at 7 am in the morning and continue till 7pm in the evening at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Vijayawada.
His fast is titled "Let's Save Andhra Pradesh from Betrayal and Conspiracies". TDP leaders, ministers, MPs and MLAs will join the protest in their respective constituencies.
"Chandrababu Naidu wanted to dedicate the day to fight for the rights of 5 crore people of Andhra Pradesh," said the Chief Minister's Office.
This is first time that a Chief Minister of a state will go on a hunger strike on his birthday.
The hunger strike by Naidu comes just days after Andhra Pradesh's people forum held a state-wide bandh on Monday, demanding special status for the state. The Andhra Pradesh Pratyeka Hoda Saadhana Samiti, which had called the bandh, had asked opposition parties to support the cause. Responding to it, opposition parties such as the YSR Congress (YSRC), the Congress and the Left parties extended their support.
The ruling TDP had opposed the bandh call. Reacting to it, Naidu had said that bandhs were not welcome as they hamper development. Jagan Reddy-led YSRC hit back at Naidu, accusing the Chief Minister of adopting 'double standards'. "When Naidu was the Opposition leader, he had called for bandhs on many occasions, but as a Chief Minister he is now opposing them (bandhs), saying they hinder development," YSRC political affairs committee member Ambati Rambabu said.
Naidu-led TDP had recently walked out of the NDA government over the demand for special statue to Andhra Pradesh. Following the move, he had attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of making false promises to get the support of the TDP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
"Even during 2014 general election, we didn't try for an alliance with BJP. Modi himself came to us, said that BJP is sympathetic towards Andhra, let us work together for the development of the state. Then only I allied with them, just for the sake of state's interests," Naidu had said.
Taking a dig at PM Modi, Naidu said that it was only after the TDP parted ways from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), they could - for the first time - highlight their problems in front of the nation.
"By standing against Narendra Modi we could, for the first time, bring our problems to the notice of the nation. The centre is going ahead with oppressive policy but they are not thinking to recognise our sentiments and resolve our problems," he had said.
OneIndia News (with agency inputs)