In a unique protest to ensure that commuters on the road were not disturbed, activists of the Telugu Desam Party's (TDP) Kakinada unit, backed by the local legislator, took out a rally on fishing boats.
According to media reports, the rally began at Jagannaikpur fisheries jetty and ended at Hope Island in the Bay of Bengal, where several fishing boats with TDP flags descended on Tuesday morning. They returned to Kakinada by afternoon.
The rally demanded that the central government must grant Special Category Status (SCS) to the state.
Flagging off the rally, Kakinada City MLA Vanamadi Venkateswara Rao had lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Centre's refusal to grant SCS to Andhra Pradesh.
“In reality, the Prime Minister has given nothing more than a pot full of soil and an equal quantity of water. We can’t take this humiliation any more, but fight for our share in funds,” the MLA was quoted as saying.
The Kakinada legislator said that the TDP's city unit came up with the idea after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu requested all parties in the state, not to inconvenience the people while protesting.
Responding to the call for a state-wide bandh earlier this week, Naidu had said, “We need to educate the people against the Modi government and take the battle to Delhi. What is the point in stalling the development in the state? It will make Modi happier."
In the first week of April, the TDP supremo took out a cycle rally from Venkatapalem village to the state secretariat in Amaravati, along with the members of the Cabinet, MLAs and MLCs.
The TDP exited the NDA government last month after the Centre justified why the state could not be given Special Category Status.
The TDP has been demanding the Centre fulfil all the commitments made to it at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. TDP ministers in the NDA government resigned from the Union Cabinet on March 8, and the party exited the NDA government on March 16.