Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has begun with his day-long fast in Delhi on Monday, seeking special category status for the state and fulfilment of other commitments made by the Centre at the time of state's bifurcation.
Naidu, who began a day-long fast at the Andhra Bhavan demanding that the Centre fulfil all promises made during AP's bifurcation in 2014, warned that Modi would be given a befitting answer if he made personal attacks against the people of his state.
He alleged the central government did grave injustice to Andhra and it would have "repercussions on national unity".
"On behalf of five crore people, I'm warning this government... I came here to remind you of the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act," Naidu said.
The TDP chief said the party was denied permission to stage a protest in Parliament premises. "So, we came here".
"I am warning you. Don't make personal attacks against me and my people. It's unwarranted. I am just doing my duty as the head of my state. We are only demanding what we were promised," he said, adding if somebody "attacks our self respect, we will not tolerate it".
"(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," Naidu said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh also visited the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister in his day-long hunger strike and extended their support against BJP goverment.
Delhi: Former Prime Minister & Congress leader Manmohan Singh at Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu's day-long fast, at Andhra Pradesh Bhawan. pic.twitter.com/wEym76Hftk— ANI (@ANI) February 11, 2019
Congress President Rahul Gandhi: I stand with the people of Andhra Pradesh. What kind of a PM is he? He did not fulfill the commitment made to the people of Andhra Pradesh. Mr Modi, tells a lie wherever he goes. He has got no credibility left. pic.twitter.com/LdW5923O4T— ANI (@ANI) February 11, 2019
Before beginning the fast, Naidu offered tributes to Matama Gandhi at Raj Ghat and to B R Ambedkar at Andhra Pradesh Bhavan.
A large number of protesters from Andhra Pradesh has already reached the national capital. The state government hired two special trains to ferry people to Delhi.
Naidu will also submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on February 12.
The Chief Minister has participated in 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' in 11 districts of Andhra Pradesh so far.
Naidu has been trying to unite the opposition parties to take on the BJP in the general elections. Over the last three months, he has held a number of meetings with the opposition party leaders on forming an anti-BJP front.
In March last year, the TDP had pulled out of the NDA government over its refusal to grant a special status to Andhra Pradesh.
The party has been accusing the Narendra Modi government of not releasing enough funds for the Polavaram irrigation project, the Kadapa steel plant and Amravati, the under-construction ultra-modern state capital.
On June 2, 2014, Andhra Pradesh was split into two, and Hyderabad became the capital of the new state Telangana.
(With inputs from agencies)