Bengaluru, April 10: Clearly miffed with the BJP over the denial of a special status to Andhra Pradesh, the ruling party, Telugu Desam Party, is now taking its grouse to other states as well. Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister K.E. Krishnamurthy was in the garden city where he requested Telugu people in the state to “vote for anyone but the BJP” in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Krishnamurthy held a press conference in Bengaluru on Monday where he said that Telugu people in the southern states, specially Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, should not vote for the BJP as its leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had cheated the people of AP in denying them the special category status (SCS). Krishnamurthy was in the garden city on a personal visit.
Media reports suggest that WhatsApp messages making similar requests to the Telugu-speaking population to not vote for the BJP have been doing the rounds. According to a report in The Hindu, there is a sizeable Telugu-speaking population in Karnataka as well. The report says that South Bengaluru has people hailing from Chittoor, Kurnool, Hindupur and Anantpur. The report quotes a senior TDP leader from Chittoor pointing out that as many as 30 constituencies in Karnataka have been identified with Telugu population.
The voices of protest have been growing louder ever since the TDP pulled out of the ruling NDA government at the Centre. Andhra Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was also in the capital recently to meet leaders of other political parties in Parliament. He also warned the Centre that their agitation will only gain momentum if their demand for a special status continued to be denied by the Centre. During the Budget session, TDP MP N Sivaprasad had registered his protest by donning a new avatar every single day of the session. Party MPs had also been constantly protesting at Parliament.
A few days ago, the five YSRCP MPs resigned from Lok Sabha and began an indefinite hunger strike to press for their demand for special category status.