Andhra Pradesh special status: CM Chandrababu Naidu on 12-hour fast against ‘injustice’, gets Mamata’s backing

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New Delhi | Updated: April 20, 2018 5:07:11 PM

Upping the ante against the Centre on the issue of granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is on a day-long fast demanding justice for the state.

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Upping the ante against the Centre on the issue of granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is on a day-long fast demanding justice for the state. Naidu, who is celebrating his 69th birthday today, launched the “Dharma Porata Deeksha”, a 12-hour hunger strike in Amaravati; and decided not to celebrate his birthday and sat on a fast instead to protest against the alleged injustice meted out to the state due to the “non-implementation” of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

Naidu began his fast at 7 in the morning in Vijayawada. Several ministers in his government joined Naidu in the fast, which is being held in all the 13 districts of the state. State ministers are leading the protest in the district headquarters. TDP legislators and party in-charge of 175 Assembly constituencies are also leading similar protests in their respective segments in solidarity with Naidu.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has also extended support to the hunger strike undertaken by N Chandrababu Naidu demanding “justice” for the state from the Centre. “We extend support to Andhra Pradesh CM, Chandrababu Naidu @ncbn, for his one-day Hunger Strike for the 5 crore people of AP #CBNFast4Justice,” Banerjee tweeted.

In Andhra Pradesh, political parties have been protesting against the Centre for not fulfilling its promise of the special status tag to the state which was bifurcated in 2014. The second half of the Budget Session was also washed out due to protests by Andhra Pradesh MPs. The state’s ruling TDP even quit the NDA government over the issue.

On the last day of the Budget Session, five YSR Congress MPs namely YV Subbareddy, Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy, YS Avinash Reddy, V Varaprasad Rao and PV Mithun Reddy; had resigned from the Lok Sabha to protest against the Centre. The YSR Congress asked Naidu to follow the suit by asking his MPs to resign from both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The rift started when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Centre can’t grant special status tag to Andhra Pradesh citing the 14th Finance Commission. He had argued that the 14th Finance Commission had removed the provision to special status tag. He had, however, promised that the Centre was ready to give all benefits to Andhra Pradesh dispensed under special category status.

Under the special category status, a state is entitled to get 90 percent of the funds from the Centre instead of 60 percent. But the TDP appeared adamant on its stand and kept reiterating that it will not accept the Centre’s formula.

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