IANS /New Delhi
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu yesterday accused the central government of betraying the state by not granting it a special status and claimed there was a threat to democracy and the country under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With a host of opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal extending their support, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief staged a hunger strike in the national capital demanding Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party government accord Special Category Status and fulfil other commitments made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
A day after Modi addressed a rally in Andhra Pradesh and made a bitter attack on Naidu, a number of opposition leaders turned up at the Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi and launched a scathing attack on the prime minister.
Pointing to the issue being repeatedly raised in parliament by the TDP, Naidu said his agitation was a way to communicate to the nation “the betrayal by the Modi government of Andhra Pradesh”.
“Modi is threatening everybody -- the opposition, bureaucracy, corporates and even the media. He is using the CBI, ED and the IT Department to crush the opposition and dissent,” said Naidu claiming democracy and the nation was “under threat” under Modi.
“We want to save democracy. Today there is a democratic compulsion for all political parties to join together to save the country,” he said.
Calling upon the opposition parties to unite, Naidu said: “We need to keep this in mind. Modi was given absolute majority. What did he do? Nothing. The BJP and Modi were playing games to divide the opposition by asking who’s their leader.
“He is responsible for the falling standard of public discourse. The PM must stop first hitting below the belt. Then everyone will stop and then we will maintain dignity and discourse of politics.”
Naidu said his protest was against the injustice done to the state, to remind the central government of its promises and to demonstrate the strength of Andhra Pradesh.
Warning the prime minister to stop the attacks, Naidu said Modi should act immediately to fulfil the commitments as only “two days were left” to the ongoing parliament session, which could be the last session before the Lok Sabha elections.
“If you don’t fulfil the promises you have made, we know how to get it done,” Naidu said, adding that the government failed to implement the provisions of Bifurcation Act, including funds to bridge the revenue deficit, a railway zone in Visakhapatnam, steel plant in Kadapa and a petrochemical corridor.
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