Chandrababu Naidu Fasts On Birthday To Press Special Status Demand

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is holding a hunger strike on his birthday today. The hunger strike is called 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' or 'Fight for Justice', for which his Telugu Desam Party has invited other opposition parties, including the Congress and its chief Sonia Gandhi.

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Chandrababu Naidu is holding a fast to demand special category status for Andhra Pradesh.


New Delhi:  Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is holding a day-long hunger strike today on his birthday to press his demand for the special status for his state. The Chief Minister turned 68 today.
The hunger strike is called 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' or 'Fight for Justice'. Mr Naidu, who has been trying to rally the opposition to back his demand, has invited other parties, including the Congress and its chief Sonia Gandhi, on the occasion.

Mr Naidu's Telugu Desam Party or the TDP -- the BJP's biggest ally in the South - has been at loggerheads with the Centre over the special status issue. The matter came to a boil after the Union budget, when Mr Naidu said the state was completely ignored by the Centre.He withdrew his ministers from the Union cabinet, quit the NDA and moved a no-confidence notice against the government in parliament.

The notice, which had the support of the key opposition parties -- including the Congress, the Left and the Trinamool Congress -- could not be taken up due to the continuous protests by the AIADMK on the Cauvery water sharing issue.

Special status entails a host of economic benefits and central grants, which is given to disadvantaged states. It was promised to Andhra Pradesh by the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh, when Telangana was carved out of it in 2014 - a move that left the state in deep revenue deficit.  

But the special status never materialized, with the NDA government which came to power, rejecting it outright.

Mr Jaitley said under the new rules of the 14th Finance Commission, special status cannot be granted to any but those in the north-east and the hill states.

Mr Naidu's party also says the centre, despite promising to help fund mega projects like capital Amaravati and Polavaram, has been mostly tight-fisted.


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