Special status to AP: On birthday, Naidu on fast

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on a day-long fast in Vijayawada on Friday.
Highlights: 
Naidu's fast is aimed at reminding the Centre of its responsibility to handhold the residual state of Andhra Pradesh till it is developed at a par with other southern states. 

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu went on a day-long hunger strike in Vijayawada on Friday to demand special category status for the residual state of Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu, who turned 68 on Friday, undertook the “Dharma Porata Deeksha” to highlight the "step-motherly treatment" meted out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu's fast is aimed at reminding the Centre of its responsibility to handhold the residual state of Andhra Pradesh till it is developed at a par with other southern states. 

In an open letter written to the people of the state, Naidu wanted everyone to support his protest against the indifferent attitude of the Centre.

“The 14th Finance Commission never said that AP is not eligible for special category status (SCS). If the Centre can doll out special assistance to several other states, why not for AP?” Naidu asked.

The chief minister will be addressing a rally at 7 pm after ending his fast. He has also advised party functionaries and fans not to celebrate his birthday.

The chief minister began his fast at 7 am. Naidu’ son and state IT Minister N Lokesh, and Deputy Chief Minister Chinna Rajappa are also on a day-long fast at the same venue.

A massive stage that can accommodate 250 people and a pandal to accommodate 10,000 has been erected. The police have made elaborate security arrangements. Buttermilk and ORS sachets were kept ready, considering the oppressive summer heat in Coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Several social organisations, trade unions and district-level functionaries of the Telugu Desam Party also joined the one-day hunger strike.

State ministers and MLAs from all the 13 districts will hold a day-long fast in their respective districts.

Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition Y S Jaganmohan Reddy sent birthday wishes to Naidu. Jagan is currently on a 'padayatra' through Krishna district.

(With inputs from agencies)

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