April 20 will be a historical day in the Andhra Pradesh politics as Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu sits in day long hunger strike against the Central government’s indifferent attitude towards the State in the post-bifurcation scenario. The fast starts at 7 am and ends at 7 pm at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium in Vijayawada.
The Chief Minister will sit in the fast with 18 issues to be highlighted. The special category status, revenue deficit, funds to Polavaram Project, funds to new capital Amaravati, railway zone at Visakhapantam, petro corridor, national institutions, sea port at Dugarajapatnam, steel plant in Kadapa, Vizag-Chennai corridor, metro rail for Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, rail and road connectivity for Amaravati, financial assistance to the backward districts, settlement of arrears from the Telangana Discoms, division of institutions in Schedule IX and X of AP Reorganisation Act, establishment of Greyhounds Centre and increase of Assembly seats.
The Chief Minister had written an open letter to the people asking them to join his day long fast. The Ministers and the ruling TDP leaders are holding fasts simultaneously across the 13 districts.
The state government had mobilised large number of people for the event. Women of the self-help groups and both men registered with the MNREGS as wage seekers are brought in to the city to give their support to the Chief Minister.
The police have also diverted the vehicular traffic in the city and outskirts to ensure that the city is free for the people visiting the Chief Minister. The vehicular traffic on national highways too was diverted to different routes without touching the Vijayawada city.
The State administration is busy planning to communicate to the people how the Chief Minister is working hard to get the benefits from the Central government and how Chandrbabu Naidu is challenging the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The bureaucracy has prepared statements to be distributed to the people across the State explaining what was promised to the State at the time of bifurcation and in the AP Reorganisation Act and what was not given yet, even after four years of bifurcation. This message is to paint the BJP and Narendra Modi as betrayers of the Telugu people.
It is now to be seen how the BJP would counter this campaign by the TDP and the State government.