Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday began a day-long hunger strike in the Rajahmundry Central Prison against his “illegal” arrest, according to party leaders.
Naidu was arrested by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) on September 9 in. The Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation and since then he remained in judicial custody.
The former Chief Minister’s quash petition was already dismissed by Andhra Pradesh High Court. He has challenged the same in the Supreme Court.
According to TDP leaders, Naidu’s fast, which began at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is to protest against the autocratic rule of Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and the manner in which democracy is being undermined in Andhra Pradesh.
Naidu’s wife Bhuvaneswari also sat on a day-long fast in Rajahmundry
She, along with other women leaders of the TDP, undertook the hunger strike with the slogan ‘Satyameva Jayate’ at Quarry Centre in the town.
In a post on X, she said: “Tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary today. Mahatma Gandhi’s life had a message for us all: that any battle, no matter how difficult, can be won if we uphold the principles of truth and justice. His enduring legacy, especially the Satyagraha continues to inspire us to embrace the power of truth in all our endeavors.”
Bhuvaneswari, who is Vice-Chairperson and Managing Director of Heritage Foods, also remembered her late father N.T. Rama Rao, the founder of TDP and former chief minister.
“Today, my heart is filled with memories of my father, the great NTR garu, who devoted his life to the Telugu community. He taught us to always stick to the truth, no matter how tough it gets. His strong support for justice and his dedication to serving the Telugu people continue to inspire all of us, his children,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh, who is camping in Delhi, also observed a fast at the residence of TDP MP K Ravindra Kumar.
State TDP K. Atchannaidu along with other leaders also launched the hunger strike at party headquarters in Mangalagiri in Guntur district.
Family members of TDP MLA and actor N. Balakrishna were also on a day-long hunger strike at NTR Trust Bhavan in Hyderabad.
Balakrishna’s wife Vasundhara and others were on fast to show solidarity with Naidu. Balakrishna is brother-in-law of Naidu and also father-in-law of Lokesh.
Meanwhile, TDP vice-president Suhasini launched a protest at NTR Ghat in Hyderabad.
She is daughter of Naidu’s brother-in-law late N. Harikrishna.
Former union minister Pannabaka Lakshmi and other leaders were participating in the protest at NTR Ghat.