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Naidu's daylong fast becomes centre-stage for show of opposition unity

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's daylong fast demanding special status for his state on Monday became a rallying point for the opposition, which got together for the second time in less than a month to present a united front against the government.

Bringing state issues on a central stage, a series of opposition leaders made a beeline for Andhra Bhavan, where Naidu staged his protest.

Those who met Naidu included former Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Farooq Abdullah, NCP's Majeed Memon, Trinamool Congress' Derek O' Brien, DMK's Tiruchi Siva, Loktantrik Janata Dal's Sharad Yadav, Minister and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh

The last time the parties came together the same way was on January 19, when 22 opposition parties supported West Bengal Minister in her agitation against the CBI's alleged misconduct.

The TDP 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 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...BC is before chaiwala and AD is after dhoka...Modi has lost all his allies and formed a new ally in CBI," he alleged.

The PM in his rally had remarked that Naidu was 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 great service for 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.

SP leader, 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.

Loktantrik chief Sharad blamed the for unemployment, joblessness which he said were a result of demonetization.

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.

Kejriwal hit out at the over the alleged mistreatment meted out to states being run by governments of opposition parties.

One may have voted for any party but after elections, whoever wins and becomes the CM, is the CM of the entire state and not of a particular party. Similarly, when one becomes the PM, then he is the PM of the entire country, not just one party.

The Modi treats governments of opposition parties in states, he behaves like he is not the PM of but PM of Pakistan, Kejriwal said.

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. 16:55 IST