Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu is observing a one-day hunger strike on Friday in Vijayawada to protest against the ‘Centre’s non-cooperation with the state’. Naidu’s Cabinet colleagues, party legislators and cadre, whom he had directed earlier to accompany him, are also observing the hunger strike.
Naidu who turns 67 today, started the “Dharma Porata Deeksha’’ at the Indira Gandhi stadium at Vijayawada, and was joined by several MPs, MLAs, and Telugu Desam Party workers and leaders. “Dharma Porata Deeksha is for seeking SCS and fulfillment of promises made during state bifurcation. There is no sign of cooperation from the Central Government on this issue,’’ Naidu said.
The strike is for pressuring the Centre to grant the Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, which was denied as promised during state bifurcation. Addressing the TDP coordination committee meeting earlier this week, Naidu had asked 13 ministers to lead the protest in each district and the remaining nine ministers to sit on fast along with him.
On Monday, Andhra Pradesh Pratyeka Hoda Saadhana Samiti had called for a statewide bandh on the same issue, which was supported by most of the Opposition parties including YSR Congress (YSRC), Congress and Left parties. The ruling TDP had opposed it saying bandhs hamper development of the state.