The Telugu Desam Party has apologised for a casteist poster against Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was placed in Andhra Bhavan--the protest venue--on Monday. The TDP is protesting against the BJP led Centre in New Delhi for not according Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh as per Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014.
For the protest, the TDP government hired two special trains at a cost of Rs 1.12 crore from the state exchequer to bring protestors from the state.
However, one poster, which was placed on the pedestal of Nandi statue in Andhra Bhavan drew flak. The poster read: "To whom we were supposed to give our unwashed tea glasses, we handed over a nation to him." -- PM Modi has been attacked in the past over his claims of having sold tea.
Before the issue could blow up and snowball into a major controversy, the TDP promptly salvaged the situation by removing the poster and condeming the incident.
TDP MP, Jayadev Galla told ANI, "We don't endorse it. It is not correct and it should not be done. It must not have been put by our party people."
Delhi: TDP MP Jayadev Galla, on posters which were earlier seen at the venue of the ongoing protest at Andhra Pradesh Bhawan: We don't endorse it. It is not correct and it should not be done. It must not have been put by our party people. pic.twitter.com/UMaQrpNCYRâ€” ANI (@ANI) February 11, 2019
Though political rivals and others have questioned the claim that PM had sold tea in a railway station, any attempts to mock Modi has also been faced with opposition.
It may be recalled that earlier a casteist remark of 'Neech' by Mani Shankar Aiyar against Modi created a furore, following which the Congress suspended him from the party. His suspension was however later revoked.
Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, former CM of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah and others joined the one-day protest led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Accusing the Prime Minister of not following 'Raj Dharma', Naidu warned Modi and said, "If you wont't fulfill our demands, we know how to get them fulfilled. This is about self respect of people of Andhra Pradesh. Whenever there is an attack on our self-respect, we won't tolerate it."
Attacking the PM for denying Special Category Status to Andhra, Rahul Gandhi said, "He (Modi) goes to Andhra Pradesh, he lies about Special Status. He goes to the North-East, he tells another lie over there. He goes to Maharashtra and he tells another lie over there. He has got absolutely no credibility left."