Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday began his day-long ‘Dharma Porata Deeksha’ hunger strike in the capital.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and accompanied by his ministers, party MLAs, MLCs, and MPs paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat ahead of the strike.
Termed ‘Dharma Porata Deeksha’ (a day-long protest for justice), the strike is being held at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in Delhi. It is expected to go on until around 8 PM.
Naidu is observing protest against the central government over the issue of special status to Andhra Pradesh. As per an official statement, he will be submitting a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi and TMC leader Derek O’ Brien are expected to meet the Andhra CM at the dharna site to express solidarity.
Meanwhile, the BJP claimed that Naidu was staging the protest without following any protocol for “political purposes.” The TDP pulled out of the BJP-led NDA over the “injustice” done to Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation.
In October 2013, Naidu had staged an indefinite fast at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan here, demanding that if a separate state is carved out of then unified Andhra Pradesh, both should get equal rights.
On the fifth day of his protest, he was forcibly shifted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital after his health deteriorated. He had also observed a fast in Vijayawada in April last year demanding special status for the state. The Telugu Desam Party had pulled out of the NDA last year over the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.