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AP CM calls for state-wide protests on Feb 1, retracts 'black

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Press Trust of India Amaravati (AP)
: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Wednesday called for state-wide protests on February 1, when the central government will present the budget in Parliament, terming it a 'black day', an observation he retracted within hours.
He, however asked the public to stage protests in varied forms from February 1 to 13, demanding that 'justice' be done to the state by fulfilling all promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
Earlier in the day, he had told the TDP leaders via a teleconference that February 1 the day the Centre presents the Budget to Parliament would be a black day for the state and called for state-wide protests.
Addressing a meeting of various groups, including some political parties, later in the evening, the Chief Minister asked everyone to desist from calling February 1 a black day.
"We have been carefully protecting our (states) brand. We should not spoil it in the name of black day," he told the meeting, that was boycotted by the main opposition YSR Congress, BJP, Congress and Jana Sena.
Though protests could be carried out with black flags and black badges, it should not be called a black day, Chandrababu added.
In his teleconference with Telugu Desam Party leaders, Chandrababu said the Centre cheated AP in the last five budgets.
"February 1 is a black day for the state. The BJP-led government at the Centre has discriminated against the state at every step. Unless BJP is trounced at the hustings, justice will not be done to Andhra Pradesh," the Chief Minister said.
He asked party cadres to observe peaceful protests, sporting black badges and black flags when the Centre presents the Budget for 2019-20.
He referred to reports in the China Global Times newspaper, saying the 'failures' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government were being publicised even in China.
"The country has been pushed into chaos under Modi's rule. There is widespread antagonism towards Modi due to unemployment. People are opposing the BJP," he said.
"Maharashtra has been given Rs 4,717 crore while Andhra Pradesh got only Rs 900 crore for drought relief. Andhra suffered extensive damage running into thousands of crores of rupees due to cyclone Titli. Cyclone Phethai also caused severe destruction, but the Centre did not grant even a rupee," Naidu lamented.
At the meeting of various groups, the Chief Minister said an agitation programme would be conducted in New Delhi on February 11, while a delegation of various leaders would meet the President.

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 9:20 PM IST

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