Hyderabad: In an ultimatum to the centre, YSR Congress Party chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday announced that his party MPs will resign on the last day (April 5) of the ongoing Parliament session and will sit on an indefinite hunger strike at Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi to demand for special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

Reddy announced his party’s decision to push for special category status at a public meeting in Guntur district during his ongoing ‘Praja Sankalpa Yatr’ or walkathon. “Across the state there would be relay hunger strikes by students at their respective university campuses and at all assembly constituency levels by party cadre," a press release from his office quoted him on Saturday.

The YSRCP chief also censured Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu, stating he has been “resorting to theatrics which would yield him an Oscar award in the best anti-hero category". Reddy said that the last United Progressive Alliance-II government led by the Congress had passed a cabinet resolution according SCS to AP and had sent the related to the Planning Commission for further follow up.

“It was lying there for seven months after Chandrababu Naidu took over as chief minister. He did not bother to enquire about it nor pursue it," alleged the YSRCP chief, and added that Naidu had watered down the SCS demand and foiled attempts by the YSRCP like protests, rallies and hunger strikes which asked for the same.

Reddy said that if all 25 MPs from AP will resign, it will add pressure on the centre. “But Naidu has been trying to save his skin by asking his MPs to stay away from the resignations. Our action plan will continue and our MPs will resign on the last day of the Parliament," reiterated at the meeting.

The issue of SCS for AP has once again gained prominence, even after the centre has made it clear that it cannot be given. Prior to his in 2016, Naidu has accepted the special assistance package in lieu of it. However, the TDP began protesting against the centre for not fulfilling its promised made to AP post its bifurcation from Telangana in 2014 after the Union Budget was released on 1 February.

After continuing its protests in Parliament, the TDP finally broke its alliance with the BJP on 16 March and exited the National Democratic Alliance fold. Prior to that in March, two of its MPs had withdrawn from the union cabinet.

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