Vijayawada: The Dharma Porata Deeksha launched by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in Delhi, to press his demand for Special Category Status (SCS) for AP, attracted support from several opposition leaders and Chief Ministers on Monday.
More than 20 leaders arrived at the venue of the fast and expressed solidarity for the demand of special category status for AP, and most of them came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for destroying the federal system.
All India Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi was also present and said that the Prime Minister is a liar and should honour the assurances given at the time of the bifurcation of the state such as SCS.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh addressed those assembled and said the present government has the responsibility of fulfilling the decisions taken during the last Parliament session. He said all parties were in favour of the SCS. He said he supported fully Mr Naidu’s position on seeking special category status.
Former Union minister and architect of the state bifurcation bill, Jairam Ramesh, said that Mr Modi cannot speak the truth even by mistake. He said Mr Modi should take VRS. If the Congress comes to power, its first decision will be to accord SCS to AP, and the second decision will be to complete the Polavaram project, he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who also came out in Mr Naidu’s support, said that the Prime Minister has been trying to suppress state governments that question the decisions of his government.
He reminded Mr Modi that he is not the ‘Prime Minister of the BJP’ but the ‘Prime Minister of India’. Mr Modi is trying to encroach upon the powers of the Delhi government by acting like Pakistan, he said.
He added the ACB has been under the Delhi government for the past 40 years, but the BJP government has grabbed the ACB from the purview of the Delhi government just as it has used the CBI against police officials in West Bengal. Meanwhile, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also extended her support to the deeksha in a call she made to Mr Naidu. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said that it is the responsibility of the central government to fulfill the promise made to AP on special category status, and that his party was in favour of it.
Sharad Yadav of the Loktantrik Janata Dal said all opposition parties came together during the internal Emergency and the same situation prevails now. He said that the central government should fulfil the demands of AP.