Modi speech blackout in AP over SCS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI File Photo

The ongoing struggle for special category status (SCS) for Andhra Pradesh reached a crescendo on Tuesday with the people’s representatives in Anantapur district stopping the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address on the occasion of Panchayati Raj Day.

The telecast from Madhya Pradesh was shown via a projector at all panchayats across the state. However, the Zilla Parishat members and state Minister Paritala Sunitha objected to the telecast at an official meeting. Midway of the screening on a podium where the district officials were seated, Telugu Desam Party members threw a yellow cloth on the projector in a bid to stop the screening.

They then raised slogans “Modi Down Down” and “We demand Special status”. Joining them, the minister declared all programmes addressed by the PM would be blacked out till the demand for SCS is conceded. However, members from other political parties kept off the protest. The meeting then continued without the speech of the Prime Minister as the TDP members blocked the screen.

Naidu steals thunder

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu, addressing Panchayati Raj Day celebrations in Dwarapudi of East Godavari district, expressed apprehensions that the BJP government at the Centre might target him for criticising the PM. “I have seen how Pawan Kalyan, who was with us, has been turned into a foe. BJP turned him into a puppet. I have no fear as I have not committed any crime, nor will I let anyone commit a crime,” Naidu, apparently referring to the CBI raids on Congress leaders in Karnataka, said.

In Tirupati, several political outfits under the umbrella of SCS Sadhana Samithi organised a “Bijli Bandh” on Tuesday night for half an hour. People of the town in most places voluntarily turned off lights and lit candles instead, to demand SCS. Samithi Chief Chalasani Srinivas said that the people of the state are in no mood to accept any alternative to special status and the ruling parties in the state and at the Centre would have to face heat if they fail to fulfill their just demand.

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