Chandrababu’s fast in Delhi receives tremendous support from Opposition allies

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s day-long fast at Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi, protesting the Centre’s apathy towards the state and is demanding Special Category Status for AP, won the support of several leaders from political parties which are part of the anti-BJP front. They have expressed their support and solidarity to the Dharma Porata Deeksha of the Chief Minister, reflecting the sentiments of the 5 crore people of Andhra Pradesh.

Former PM Manmoham Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Ahmed Patel and several leaders from the grand old party visited the “Deeksha” venue and expressed their support. Former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, demanded Special Status for Andhra Pradesh from Andhra Bhavan. “I have stood by people of AP in the Parliament. This meeting is a testimony of our common resolve for special status demand. This issues got unanimous support from all parties. This should be implemented immediately without no further loss of time. I stand in solidarity with Chandrababu Naidu ji in his demand,” reiterated the former Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi who visited Chandrababu at the Deeksha venue said that Prime Minister Modi has absolutely no credibility left, taking a jibe that “Chowkidaar Chor Hain (PM is a robber, robbing this country of its freedom and democracy).” Recalling his association with Chandrababu Naidu, Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “I have a long association with Naidu ji. I attended his wedding in Chennai for three days. We have been friends in politics from a really long time. I express my full support to his fight as he is fighting a PM who thinks everything starts and ends with the BJP. He needs to keep the sentiments of regional allies in mind and India needs to be saved from his arrogant rule. He will soon understand his place when he loses the upcoming Lok Sabha election.”

Mulayam Singh of Samajwadi Party, said: “I have a long relationship with Chandrababu Naidu ji. He has always respected me. UP has been able to influence India’s elections significantly. Naidu ji’s determination is worth mentioning. He always stays committed and we support him in his cause for Special Status for Andhra Pradesh. He has worked towards making India what it is today and his role in making of modern India is crucial. History will remember him for his great work. He cannot be considered just as any leader.”  He added that the Prime Minister is making fun of Naidu ji. “But, he should remember the years of work that Chandrababu has done. The people of AP are very lucky to have Naidu ji as their Chief Minister because he has never stopped working for his people. He has the capacity to change Indian politics and its direction. Samajwadi Party always supports you and Andhra Pradesh.”

Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said: “Chandrababu Naidu has worked very hard to bring all the anti-BJP parties together and his efforts will never go unrecognized. Andhra Pradesh’s demand for Special Status and other assurances made in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 are legitimate. A state’s Chief Minister staging a fast is an example enough to show what sort of a government is being run in India, which is a union of states. We can understand with Naidu ji’s fast how states are being treated under this (Modi) government. I too have witnessed how AP was bifurcated and we had assured AP to fulfil all the promises. This was not done by a party, but by the Indian government and hence, an Act was made to make it legitimate. This decision was taken after unanimous support from all parties. Now, BJP is ignoring the state. We support the special status demand for AP and demand the BJP government to fulfil all promises made in the Act.”

Sharad Yadav, another long-standing leader and friend of Chandrababu Naidu said: “Chandrababu Naidu’s efforts in creating the United Front government are worth mentioning. NDA government needs to remember that you are putting Indian Democracy in danger. All the efforts and sacrifices made by leaders and freedom fighters in creating Independent India are in danger because the cultural and democratic fabric of this country are under threat under the current BJP government. The Parliament witnessed every discussion over bifurcation of United AP. So, all the promises and assurances to Andhra Pradesh should be fulfilled. We totally support Chandrababu in his fast against the Centre. If you do not fulfil promises made to AP, then you will face severe consequences,” he explained. 

Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, said that the Prime Minister is of the opinion that he is the PM of BJP. “Unfortunately, this PM wants to cut down the power of states in a democracy like India. He think clipping the power of states and destabilising them makes it easier for his party to come to power in those states. But, doesn’t he understand that every state is different? Clipping the wings of regional allies will hurt him eventually. He is using all the autonomous institutions against political parties which are not their allies. The same will be his fate when he is not in power. He should not forget that. Hence, we, from Aam Aadmi Party express our complete support to Chandrababu ji in his fight against this behaviour of the NDA government,” he stated.

Derek O’ Brien of the TMC said: “I bring you the greetings of Mamatha Banerjee ji. Modi has not spoken anything about assurances given to AP. He has made personal attacks on Chandrababu Naidu. He said that the nation wants only this ‘Modi hatao, Desh bachao’ and said that this is people’s wish.” He said that there is no Cooperative Federalism in India under Modi. “I congratulate Chandrababu Naidu and TDP for their fight against Modi and his government’s high-handedness. In July 2018, TDP brought in a no-confidence motion in the Parliament and scared Modi. This is why they have been behaving like this with TDP and it has been questioning the BJP government. CBI has become BJP’s only ally now, after several political parties have left the NDA. Modi-Shah are grandfathers of corruption.”

Meanwhile, other leaders such as Farooq Abdullah of National Conference, leaders from the North East and other parts of India also expressed solidarity with the TDP Chief. 

Speaking from the Deeksha venue, Chandrababu said: “We need to respect everyone’s opinions. Every leader has made an effort to come to the fast venue and are expressing solidarity with us.”  Several parties have supported us and are supporting us because they believe that we are demanding our rightful share, he said, adding that they have condemned Narendra Modi’s discriminatory attitude towards non-BJP states and regional parties. He also thanked the leaders for making an effort in visiting him and expressing their support to the TDP and to the people of Andhra Pradesh. 

This fast of the TDP Chief began at 8 am and will go on till 8 pm, after which he will submit a memorandum to President Ramnath Kovind tomorrow. 

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