Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, who sat on a daylong fast on Monday in Delhi to demand special status for his state, received support from several Opposition parties, including the Congress, SP, AAP, National Conference, TMC, NCP and JD(S), among others. Even NDA ally Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut made a brief appearance at the event.
Naidu began his fast around 8 am at Andhra Pradesh Bhavan after paying a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat. Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not following “Raj Dharma”, Naidu said, “We have been denied what was rightfully ours… I am warning this government. I came here to remind you of the promises made in the AP reorganisation Act.”
Naidu’s fast comes close on the heels of West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee showcasing opposition unity in Kolkata.
Top Congress leaders, including party chief Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath and senior leaders Anand Sharma and Ahmed Patel visited Naidu.
Other Opposition leaders who visited Naidu were former PM H D Deve Gowda, Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, NC’s Farooq Abdullah, NCP’s Majeed Memon, TMC’s Derek O’Brien, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav and SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Rahul used the occasion to launch an attack on the government over the Rafale issue. “The Prime Minister has stolen from people from Andhra Pradesh and given that money to Anil Ambani. I want to let you know that we are all standing together,” he said.
TMC leader O’Brien recalled Modi’s speech in Guntur on Sunday and said he didn’t talk about development or special category status but “started a personal attack”. “Those who live in glasshouses should not throw stones at others…BC is before chaiwala and AD is after dhoka…Modi has lost all his allies and formed a new ally, CBI,” he said.
Lashing out at the Prime Minister, Abdullah said, “Modi has stooped so low. He’s making personal attacks against Naidu, who is doing great service for the country.” SP leader Yadav said he was not well but had come to show endorse Naidu’s stand. “Naidu is fighting the battle for the poor, the farmers and all those who are oppressed,” he added. —WITH PTI