Opposition leaders on Monday targeted the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre from the protest venue of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who is on a day-long fast demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, who was among the top opposition leaders who joined Naidu at the site of the protest at Andhra Bhawan in New Delhi, said that the PM is scared of the opposition ever since the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) broke off from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and brought a No Confidence Motion.
“Chandrababu Naidu ji, I would like to congratulate TDP. We started this fight four years back but there is a very important date – 20 July 2018 – when TDP brought in ‘No Confidence Motion’ in Lok Sabha. This scared Modi,” he said in the presence of other leaders and Naidu.
Addressing the protesters, which included TDP MPs and legislators, O’Brien said that BJP found a new “ally” in Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ever since the 19 January ‘United Opposition’ rally held at Brigade Ground in Kolkata where nearly all top Opposition leaders had come together.
“After that on 9 January 2019, SP-BSP came together. After that, what happened on 19 Jan? 2019 BJP finish. On that day senior leaders of 22 political parties came on the same stage. Why am I mentioning these dates? Because after all of them, BJP got one new ally – CBI,” he said.
Responding to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s call, top leaders from over 10 major parties across the country, including a former Prime Minister and three sitting Chief Ministers, came together in a show of political unity against the BJP on 19 January in Kolkata.
Together, the leaders presented a show of unity – the first since a similar display during the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy as Karnataka Chief Minister – and unanimously expressed their desire to remove the BJP government led by PM Modi.
Mamata Banerjee, the chief of Trinamool Congress, will call on Naidu in New Delhi tomorrow.
At Naidu’s protest venue, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said that PM Modi behaves as if he is the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
“Hum Pradhan Mantri Ji ko kehna chahate hain, woh BJP ke PM nahi hain, woh is desh ke logon ke PM hain. Jis tarah se PM vipakshi rajyon ke sarkaron ko treat karte hain, aise treat karte hain jaise pradhan mantri Hindustan ke nahi Pakistan ke hain (We want to tell the PM that he is the PM of the country, not BJP. The manner with which he treats states ruled by opposition parties, it appears as if he not the PM of Hindustan but of Pakistan),” he said.
Earlier today, Congress president Rahul Gandhi called PM Modi “a liar” and said that he has “no credibility left”.
“I stand with the people of Andhra Pradesh. What sort of a PM is this that the PM’s post makes a commitment to people of AP and this PM does not fulfil it,” Gandhi said referring to the Andhra government’s accusation that the Centre failed to accord the status under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014.
“Mr Modi tells a lie wherever he goes. He has got no credibility left,” Gandhi said at the protest site.
Naidu began his day-long protest, dubbed ‘Dharma Porata Deeksha’, after paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. Joined by other TDP leaders, Naidu garlanded the statue of Babasaheb BR Ambedkar at AP Bhawan before launching the protest with an attack on the PM.
Clad in a black shirt to protest the raw deal meted out to the state, Naidu slammed the PM for the latter’s scathing attack on him in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur on Sunday.
“Modi came to Guntur yesterday. He spent so much of time and so much energy to attack and criticise me but not to solve any problem. This is where you are totally imbalanced,” he said.
Naidu recalled that when then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the SCS for five years, then BJP leaders in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely and Venkaiah Naidu had insisted for a period of 10 years.
The Chief Minister reiterated that the Centre had failed to implement the provisions of Bifurcation Act, including funds to bridge the revenue deficit, railway zone in Visakhapatnam, steel plant in Kadapa and petrochemical corridor.
The TDP chief also accused PM Modi and the NDA government of dividing the country.
“The present Prime Minister and NDA govt, they are dividing the country. They are building hatred campaign among people. Ultimately, they want political gain, but it can’t be,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
At the protest venue, Naidu was joined by a host of opposition leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and LJD leader Sharad Yadav among others.
A large number of protesters have also joined Naidu. They reached the national capital by two special trains hired by the state government.