Hyderabad:The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and other political parties and organizations have called for a 10-day “peaceful" protest against the centre to push for Andhra Pradesh’s (AP’s) demand for special category status (SCS). Employees’ organizations, political parties and other civil society organizations are also likely to participate in the protest, whose dates have not been fixed.
The decision was taken at an all-party meeting—excluding the YSR Congress Party, Jana Sena Party (JSP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—on Tuesday at Amaravati. A press release from AP chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s office on Tuesday also said that he will visit New Delhi to meet leaders of all political parties with regard to AP’s demands.
Among those who attended the meeting were representatives of the Congress, Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, and Lok Satta Party, civil society representatives and government employees associations. During the meeting, Naidu suggested that a peaceful mode of protest be taken up to avoid untoward incidents, stated the release.
A senior TDP functionary leader said the meeting was held primarily to build consensus among other parties and organizations on the issue of SCS, which all political parties, barring the BJP, have been demanding. “The meeting was also held so that we have a friendly understanding with parties like the CPI, CPM and Congress, as we cannot go or talk to JSP, BJP and the YSRCP," he said.
Prior to this in February, JSP chief Pawan Kalyan also formed a joint action committee to determine facts on the promises made to AP by the centre post the state’s bifurcation from Telangana in 2014. Kalyan had concluded that the centre failed to fulfil its promises, but also attacked Naidu and the TDP at a public meeting earlier this month.
The TDP, which began protesting against the centre on the SCS after the Union Budget 2018 was released, broke its alliance with the BJP on 16 March. As of now, the TDP and JSP are not on good terms, and are likely to go their separate way in the 2019 assembly and parliament elections, said the TDP functionary cited above.
A press release on Tuesday from the JSP termed the all-party meeting a “political move", and said that it “lacks a strong will and commitment to bring out a positive change".