NEW DELHI: Andhra Pradesh chief minister 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 central government.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, National Congress chairperson Farooq Abdullah, NCP’s Majeed Memon, Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’ Brien, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav were among those who met the TDP chief to express their support.
The TDP president is demanding that the Centre fulfil promises made during Andhra Pradesh’s bifurcation in 2014 and alleges that Modi is not following ‘raj dharma’ by denying the state special status. “The PM has stolen from the people from Andhra Pradesh and given it to his industrialist friends,” Gandhi alleged at the protest venue Andhra Bhavan in an apparent reference to the Rafale fighter jet deal with France.
The government and Ambani have rejected Gandhi’s allegations of corruption in the deal. O’Brien recalled Modi’s speech 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 Rama Rao.