Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will undertake a 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 will begin the 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan at 8 am after paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief is likely to be joined by his cabinet colleagues, MPs, state legislators, and leaders of students and employees groups and mass organisations.
Leaders of various non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parties are likely to visit the Andhra Bhavan to express their solidarity with Naidu, the Chief Minister's Office said.
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 is expected to address the gathering after his fast ends at 8 pm. The Chief Minister 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’s fast comes a day after the TDP chief and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took jibes at each other.
In a blistering attack on Naidu, Modi on Sunday said that the CM was having sleepless nights as the Centre was seeking an account of every rupee given to the state. Addressing a BJP rally in Guntur amid protests across the state, he targeted the TDP chief accusing him of corruption.
Modi said that Naidu had ignored the state's development and had joined the competition by the 'Maha Milawat' in abusing him. He said the opposition alliance comprised people facing allegations of cheating the poor and the country and remarked that the law was catching up with them.
"He is using every abusive word from dictionary against me. He is insulting the great culture of Andhra," said the Prime Minister adding that he was responding for the first time after listening to these abuses for months.
Hours later, the latter launched a counter-offensive at a public meeting in Vijayawada.
As Modi had addressed him as Lokesh's father, Naidu retorted by calling him the Prime Minister husband of Jashodaben.
Naidu said Modi called himself ‘chowkidar’ and ‘chai wala’ but wears ‘suit boot’ worth several crore rupees. The Chief Minister said Modi came to Andhra Pradesh just to criticise him and left without answering the question what he did for the state in the last five years.