Naidu winds up 8-day fast

Leaders extend support

Naidu, who continued his fast despite stabilisation efforts by NIMS doctors from Thursday night, finally heeded the request of national leaders who convinced him to take the fight to the streets.

As announced by senior TDP leader Nagam Janardhan Reddy on Friday morning, national leaders Om Prakash Chautala (INLD), Sharad Yadav (JD-U), Tambi Durai (AIADMK), Ajit Singh (RLD), Bardhan (CPI), Prakash Karat (CPM), Dishan Ali (JD-U), Vaiko Y Gopalasamy (MDMK), Devraj (Forward Block) and Arun Kumar Sharma (AGP) arrived at the Milennium block where Naidu is being treated at around 6:30pm and offered him the coconut water.

A very weak and dazed Naidu accepted the water, ending the indefinite fast that he began on December 17 at the New MLA quarters premises at Adarshnagar.

“Your battle is over. It is now our job to launch a powerful movement at the national level to take the movement that you have started to the people,” Prakash Karat told Naidu.

Later, addressing the media, Bardhan said all opposition parties would join hands in the forthcoming ‘Farmers Rally’, to be organised by the TDP in Guntur district. Ajit Singh said farmers were always at the receving end anywhere in the country and a national movement was the need of the hour.

AIADMK chief Jayalalitha made an appeal to Naidu to give up his fast, contending that the Gandhian methods of protest, which were so effective against the British, were totally lost on Gandhi’s Congress party.

Arrest of leaders

Earlier, dozens of legislators and opposition leaders were arrested when they tried to lay siege to the state secretariat demanding relief for those farmers who had lost their crops in the recent rains. Tension prevailed in the high-security area when the TDP legislators tried to march from the state Assembly to the Secretariat.

Raising anti-government slogans, the leaders, including some MPs and former ministers, headed towards the Secretariat when the police stopped them at Ravindra Bharati.

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