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Naidu's daylong fast becomes centre-stage for opposition support

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

N Chandrababu Naidu's daylong fast demanding special status for his state on Monday became a rallying point for various opposition leaders who visited the protest venue to back him and attack the

Rahul Gandhi, National Farooq Abdullah, NCP's Majeed Memon, Trinamool Congress' Derek O' Brien, DMK's and Samajwadi Party founder were among those who met the to express their support.

The is demanding that the Centre fulfil promises made during Andhra Pradesh's bifurcation in 2014 and alleges that Modi was not following 'raj dharma' by denying the state special status.

"The has stolen from the people from and he has given that money to That is the fact of the matter," Gandhi alleged at the protest venue Andhra Bhavan in an apparent reference to the fighter jet deal with

The government and Ambani have rejected Gandhi's allegations of corruption in the deal.

O'Brien recalled Modi's in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday and said he didn't talk about development or special category status but "started a personal attack".

"Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others," he said.

The PM said in his rally that Naidu was indeed a senior, but only in losing elections, switching alliances and ditching his father-in-law N T

Lashing out at the prime minister, Abdullah said, Modi has stooped so low, he's making personal attacks against Naidu, who is doing a great service to the country.

"The is closed for six days. They cannot clear the 30km road, but they want to rule the country," he added.

Adding his voice to the chorus of criticism, Memon alleged that the was meting out step motherly treatment to the state and the BJP was attacking Naidu because he has taken the lead in uniting rival parties against it.

We will show the BJP its place in the elections. I assure you on behalf of Sharad Pawar ji, Memon stated.

Mulayam Yadav said he was not well but had come to show endorse Naidu's stand.

"Naidu is fighting the battle for the poor, the farmers and all those who are oppressed," he added.

Stating that Naidu was fighting for a just cause, Siva said the would be ousted in three months.

"The powers of the state are being encroached upon...the rights of the minorities are being violated."

The TDP had walked out the BJP-led NDA last year protesting the "injustice" done to after its bifurcation.

The Constitution is being systematically destroyed, added former Gegong Apang, who gave the BJP its first government in the Northeast 16 years ago.

leaders Anand Sharma, and were also at the venue to express their support.

Naidu's 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' (a day-long protest for justice), which began at 8 am, is likely to end at around 8 pm. He will also submit a memorandum to on February 12.

Naidu paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat and also to the at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan before sitting on the hunger strike.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 14:00 IST