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Chandrababu Naidu holds all-party meet, says TDP will escalate demand for special status

The six-hour all-party meeting adopted a resolution asking the Centre to meet the promises made when Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated in 2014 to carve out a separate state of Telangana

india Updated: Mar 27, 2018 23:40 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Telugu Desam Party,TDP,Chandrababu Naidu
The BJP, the YSR Congress and the Jana Sena Party did not attend the all-party meet.(HT File Photo)

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will escalate its demand for special category status to the state, party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced on Tuesday after an all-party meeting that estranged partner the BJP skipped.

Naidu said he will visit New Delhi on April 2 and 3 to meet representatives of all political parties to seek their support for a stir that the TDP seeks to continue until the BJP-led Centre concedes the demand for special status.

“Almost all parties across the country endorse a discussion on our issues in Parliament. The state government hopes for a discussion on the Centre’s attitude towards issues important for Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

According to the chief minister, the meeting at Amaravati was convened “to take everyone’s suggestions and decide how to go forward in Parliament. We invited organisations that fought for the state during its bifurcation and the ones fighting now”.

The six-hour meeting adopted a resolution asking the Centre to meet the promises made when Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated in 2014 to carve out a separate state of Telangana. It asked the Union government carry out the provisions in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act and assurances made by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, especially special status for the state.

A state government statement said the resolution at the meet decided to “awaken people in the next 10 days and prepare them for the fight to protect the state’s interests”.

Besides the BJP, the YSR Congress and the Jana Sena Party of actor Pawan Kalyan didn’t attend the meeting.

The BJP’s absence is understandable as the TDP quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ruling coalition at the Centre on March 16 over the delay in granting special status to the state. The two parties have been trading charges since then, and the TDP had moved a non-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha.

The state’s main opposition party, the YSR Congress, said in a statement that it objected to Naidu leading a fight for securing special status for the state and refused to be drawn into “yet another conspiracy” of the chief minister.

Jana Sena founder-president Kalyan termed the meeting a “political ploy” of the TDP, saying the chief minister lacked a “strong will and commitment” to bring out a positive result.

The Congress, CPI and CPI(M) attended the meeting along with organisations such as the Special Status Sadhana Samithi, and labour and trade associations.

The Left parties said Naidu’s party was to be equally blamed along with the BJP for the injustice done to the state after its bifurcation. The Left parties did not support the resolution at the meeting.

“It is too late for the TDP to take up an agitation. You threw us in jail when we were fighting for the state’s cause,” CPI(M) state secretary P Madhu said, referring to the stir over the past three years seeking special status for the state. “We will have our own programme of action.”

The Congress and other organisations backed the resolution, saying they would support any fight taken up by the state government against the Centre to get the promises made ahead of the bifurcation.

Convenor of the Struggle Committee to Achieve Special Status, Chalasani Srinivas, said the fight should be taken to New Delhi, rather than holding demonstrations in the state.

Among the decisions taken on Tuesday was a call to wear black badges and protest the Centre’s attitude. The employees’ organisations said it register a “Japanese-style” protest by working extra hours.

Chief minister Naidu tried to explain why his party forged an alliance with the BJP before the 2014 parliamentary elections and how the NDA cheated the state’s people in four years. He presented data on funds received from the Centre, utilisation certificates submitted by the state, pending financial assistance from the Centre, and promises made and ignored.

(with agency inputs)

First Published: Mar 27, 2018 23:40 IST