Many users on social media have been calling for a mass protest at Vizag's RK beach on January 26.

Will not allow this Naidu tells Vizag beach protesters as special status demand resurfacesPTI
news Special Status Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 08:23

The protest being planned at Visakhapatnam's RK beach on January 26, by several people on social media demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh, seems to be gathering steam.

After popular actor Pawan Kalyan, several other Telugu stars have come forward to declare their support for proposed protest.

The stars tweeted on Monday that they will support the protest to bring pressure on the Centre to fulfil its promise to Special Category Status (SCS).

Inspired by the mass protest over Jallikattu in Chennai, which was supported by Tamil actors, several youth in Andhra Pradesh through social media mooted the idea of a silent protest at RK Beach in Visakhapatnam.

Leading actor and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan was first to declare his support.

"If youth of Andhra Pradesh are planning to do a silent protest at RK Beach, Jana Sena will support them," he tweeted.

Leader of opposition and YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy announced on Monday that he will back any programme to achieve SCS.

Following in their footsteps, young actors including Varun Tej, Sai Dharam Tej, Sundeep Kishan, Tanish, Sampoornesh Babu and Siva Balaji , threw their weight behind the protest plan.

"Will be supporting anything that is for the welfare of the people of our states! I Support the Special Status of AP! #APDemandsSpecialStatus," declared Varun Tej.

"Its time for us to be united and fight for what we were promised and deserve #ApDemandsSpecialStatus #SilentProtest," tweeted Sai Dharam Tej.

"Will be taking part in the Silent Protest in Vizag on the 26th,to do my bit as a responsible citizen..pls join us..," announced Sundeep Kishan.

"My Ticket is confirmed to Vizag. See you there. Hum Jeetne tak ladenge... special status leke hi rahenge, AP DEMANDS SPECIAL STATUS," tweeted Sampoornesh Babu.

Even Lok Satta party chief Jayaprakash Narayan took to social media and extended support with the hashtag #APDemandsSpecialStatus.

However, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu claimed that the protest was the work of opposition parties.

Hitting out at 'opposition parties' on Monday, he said they were planning to create disturbances.

Naidu took strong exception to the 'opposition parties' comparing the issue of Special Category Status (SCS) promised to Andhra Pradesh to the the Jallikattu campaign in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

"Some parties are trying to provoke people and create disturbances but we will not allow this. We will be very firm," he told reporters.

Last year, massive protests broke out all over the state in September, after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a 'special economic package' for Andhra Pradesh, instead of the special status that the state had demanded.

Jaitley had said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement made in Rajya Sabha on February 20, 2014 for according special status to Andhra Pradesh could not be implemented as the 14th Finance Commission has recommended that the special category status can be given only to hill states and northeastern states.

This led to a lot of resentment in the state, since the special status was a long standing demand of all parties in Andhra. In fact, it was also a main poll promise of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

While the Finance Minister had claimed that the state will get a monetary advantage, equivalent to what it would have got if it was accorded the special category status, this hasn’t helped too much.

The central government's financial package also includes a special assistance, a series of tax concessions and full funding of the Polavaram irrigation project.

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