Chandrababu Naidu's Barb Invokes Vajpayee, "PM Didn't Follow Raj Dharma"

Chandrababu Naidu

Chandrababu Naidu's Barb Invokes Vajpayee, "PM Didn't Follow Raj Dharma" 

New Delhi: N Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh began a day-long hunger strike in the national capital, this morning to demand special status for the state and urge the centre to fulfil promises made when Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. The protest followed the rally of PM Modi held a rally in Andhra Pradesh, which roasted Mr Naidu for allegedly wasting public money on political campaigns.

"(Former PM) Atal Bihari Vajpayee said ''Raj Dharma'' was not followed in Gujarat (during the 2002 riots). Now, "Raj Dharma" is not being followed in the case of Andhra Pradesh. We have been denied what is rightfully ours. If you don't get it done, we know how to get it done," the 68-year-old Chief Minister said. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister had referred to "Raj Dharma" to remind then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of his duty during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Mr Naidu-led-TDP had quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA last year over what its chief described as "injustice" done to Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister accused the Narendra Modi government of going back on a long-awaited promise of special state status for Andhra Pradesh which would grant it a greater share of funds.

However, PM Modi had claimed on Sunday that he had gone far beyond offering the special status to Andhra Pradesh. He said, "As Chandrababu Naidu couldn't develop the state nor give accounts for his expenditure, he is cooking up lies."

The chief of Telugu Desam Party, began the ''Dharma Porata Deeksha'' (a day-long protest for justice) at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan around 8:30 am after paying respects to the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat. The President of Congress, Rahul Gandhi and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah also joined Mr Naidu at the protest.

"Wherever the PM goes, he lies. He goes to Andhra he lied, he goes to northeast, he lies. He has absolutely no credibility left. PM Modi has stolen from the people of Andhra Pradesh," Mr Gandhi said.

An official statement said, the Chief Minister will also submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday.

The party said that the Andhra Pradesh ministers, TDP lawmakers, parliamentarians, members of state employee associations, social organisations and student organisations will join the fast.

Mr Naidu had observed a fast in Vijayawada on his birthday, last year, demanding special status for the state.

In March last year the TDP quit the NDA and also moved a ''no-confidence motion'' in the Monsoon session of parliament in July, which was defeated.

Chandrababu Naidu, over five years ago had launched an indefinite fast at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan. He had demanded, if a separate state was to be carved out then both should get equal justice. He was forcibly taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on the fifth day after his health deteriorated.