TDP seeks PM's help for special category status to Andhra

The TDP has decided to launch protests to build pressure on the Centre over implementing the AP Reorganisation Act "in letter and spirit".

Vijayawada: After hinting at reviewing its ties with ally BJP, the ruling TDP today decided to seek Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention for granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh, saying they are "life and death" issues for the state.

The TDP also decided to launch protests to build pressure on the Centre over implementing the AP Reorganisation Act "in letter and spirit" and special status issues even as a party MP J C Diwakar Reddy targeted Modi and said "divorce" between the two NDA partners was inevitable sooner than later.

The Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party (TDPP) at an emergency meeting decided to organise "Japanese-style" protests, party President and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said, adding their demands were "life and death issues" for the state and its future.

"We have waited with hope for two years. If the Prime Minister can spare two hours, the problems can be solved."

Addressing a press conference at the end of the TDPP meeting, Naidu once again targeted Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and also lashed out at the Centre for trying to "shirk" its responsibility over issues concerning Andhra.

"What is our mistake that you are doing such injustice to us (AP)? You have no authority to do injustice to us. We are part of India and we are paying every tax, contributing to your (enhanced) income," Naidu told the Centre.

The BJP, that supported AP's bifurcation, had "much more responsibility" (in implementing the Act and granting special status). It can't escape from it," he asserted.

"With all my political experience I am requesting. Our MPs will meet the Prime Minister and take up these issues and based on his response we will chalk out our future course of action," the TDP chief said.

Asked about the "Japanese-style" protests, Naidu said people should sport black badges and plant more trees, sweep roads clean, increase productivity. They could go to Delhi and peacefully protest, he added.

"Main objective is to enhance awareness among people."

The TDP MPs would stage an act in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue at Parliament complex tomorrow, he said.

"Call it a protest or expression of our anguish. Our MPs will try to draw the nation's attention to the injustice being done to AP," he added.

Yesterday, the regional party indicated the meet will decide whether or not to continue in the NDA Government. Late in the night, Naidu said party was continuing in the Modi Government only to protect the State's interests.

Diwakar Reddy accused Modi of trying to "suppress" Chandrababu Naidu

"In future, BJP may emerge as the single largest party but Modi cannot form the government (at the Centre) on his own.

"What are rules and regulations? If the Prime Minister decides, anything can be done," the MP told reporters.

He said "divorce" between TDP and BJP was inevitable sooner than later.

"I told Chandrababu a year ago that we can't live with the BJP. We have to divorce," the TDP MP observed.