Naidu holds hunger strike, gets support from Cong, TMC

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 11, 2019 17:49 hrs

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday held a day-long hunger strike in the national capital, accusing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of failure to grant special status to the state. He was joined by Congress president Rahul Gandhi besides leaders of the TMC, SP, AAP, NCP and National Conference.

Addressing a gathering at Andhra Bhavan here, Naidu claimed Modi is "inefficient and unfit” to rule the country.

"Modi is acting shamelessly and egotistically. He is thinking of winning the elections by colluding with some parties. Modi is unfit to rule the country. He is inefficient. Rulers should keep in mind the aspirations of the people,” the Chief Minister said.

He said the TDP came to Delhi to explain to the nation the "injustice" done by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh.

"Yesterday, Modi went to Guntur and slammed me but did not announce anything for Andhra Pradesh. The BJP will be washed out in Andhra Pradesh forever. The BJP is dividing the nation. We are here for uniting the nation. We are here to explain to the nation the injustice done by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh. We are also part of this country. Our aspiration must be fulfilled. We will take the help of all parties and achieve our target," the Chief Minister said.

Naidu had pulled out of the NDA in March last year on the issue of special status to his state. He had earlier staged similar protests against the Centre.

Attacking Modi on the Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Prime Minister facilitated “loot” as according to a media report he had removed the anti-corruption clause from the controversial fighter jet contract.

"Every Defence deal has an anti-corruption clause. The Hindu has reported that the Prime Minister removed the anti-corruption clause. It is clear that the Prime Minister facilitated the loot," Rahul told media at the event.

Gandhi alleged that the Prime Minister has got no credibility left.

Backing Naidu, he said: "I stand with the people of Andhra Pradesh. What kind of a Prime Minister is he? He did not fulfil the commitment made to the people of Andhra Pradesh. Modi tells a lie wherever he goes. He has got no credibility left.”

Congress leaders Manmohan Singh and Ghulam Nabi Azad, TMC MP Derek O'Brien, AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, former UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah and NCP's Praful Patel and Majeed Memon attended the gathering.

Derek O'Brien, who addressed the protest, said that the no-confidence motion brought by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister in the Lok Sabha in July last year “scared” Prime Minister Modi.

“After that on Jan 9, 2019, the SP and the BSP came together. On that day, senior leaders of 22 political parties came on the same stage (to show opposition unity)," he said.

He also attacked the BJP alleging that it had got a “new ally – the CBI”.

Meanwhile, the BJP claimed that Naidu was staging the protest without following any protocol for "political purposes".

"He (Naidu) is doing this entire drama for political reasons. Without following any protocol, he has come to Delhi and sat on a dharna. Moreover, he is already very famous for his U-turn on many issues. Whatever he says, the people of both the Telugu states will not believe him because he is famous for lying to people on several occasions. Naidu is a failure and people will give no response on this," BJP leader Ram Chander Rao told ANI.

Naidu is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind tomorrow and submit a memorandum. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to visit Delhi tomorrow to express solidarity with the TDP leader. (ANI)