New Delhi: A delegation led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind regarding the status of implementation of assurances made in the parliament during the passing of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 on Tuesday.
The AP CM undertook a protest march from Andhra Bhavan to Rashtrapati Bhavan demanding special status for his state, earlier in the day.
On Monday, Naidu had observed a day-long fast over the same which later turned into a rallying point for the Opposition unity. He ended his fast with water offered by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.
This was the second time that Naidu’s fast turned into a show of strength by the Opposition which is making efforts to stitch a ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) to take on the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
From Congress President Rahul Gandhi to former prime minister Manmohan Singh, the hunger-strike launched by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief on Monday against the Centre saw the Opposition’s support. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and TMC leader Derek O’ Brien were among Opposition leaders who visited Andhra Bhavan to express their solidarity with Naidu.
Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut also made a surprise appearance at Naidu’s day-long protest. Raut said he came to attend the event as a representative of the Shiv Sena.
During the 12-hour protest, leaders of the Opposition gave brief speeches making scathing attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a host of issues, notably the Rafale fighter jet deal. Demanding that the Centre fulfil promises made during Andhra Pradesh’s bifurcation in 2014, the TDP president alleged that Modi was not following ‘raj dharma’ by denying the state special status.
“(Former PM) Atal Bihari Vajpayee said ‘raj dharma’ was not followed in Gujarat (during the 2002 post-Godhra riots). Now, ‘raj dharma’ is not being followed in the case of Andhra Pradesh. We have been denied what is rightfully ours,” Naidu said.
He alleged that the central government did a grave injustice to Andhra and it would have “repercussions on national unity”. “On behalf of five crore people, I’m warning this government… I came here to remind you of the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act.”