HYDERABAD : The main opposition YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) came down heavily on Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday for “misusing public money" after finding out that a government order (GO) had been sanctioned for 10 crore to bear expenses for Naidu’s one-day ‘Deeksha’ (protest) that was held in New Delhi on 11 February.

The order, passed on 6 February, was issued by the finance secretary Ravi Chandra Muddada along with another one (on the same date) sanctioning 1.12 crore to pay for two special trains that were arranged by the AP government to transport TDP workers and members of various non-governmental organisations and other associations to participate in the ‘Deeksha’ which was held from 8 am to 8 pm on Monday.

YSRCP spokesperson and former (state) minister C. Ramachandraiah said that Naidu had brazenly misused public money for his party’s (ruling Telugu Desam party) programme in Delhi. “This is a violation of the Constitution as it is people’s money. The funds for the ‘Deeskha’ are coming from the state treasury, how can he do this?" he questioned.

Naidu conducted the ‘Deeksha’ with close to 2,000 people who came all the way from Andhra Pradesh to New Delhi to participate in the protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also to demand special category status for Andhra Pradesh. On Tuesday, Naidu also conducted a protest march to the Rashtrapathi Bhawan, where he met President Ram Nath Kovind to submit a memorandum with a list of demands.

An official from the AP government, however, refuted YSRCP’s claim that the state’s money was misused. “The programme was organized by Chandrababu Naidu in his capacity as the chief minister and for the public as well, so there is no question of misuse," he told

Mint.

The YSRCP had also earlier organized a protest in the capital last year, after which all of its five members of Parliament had resigned from their respective seats in protest against the Centre not according AP special category status. Its MLAs have also been boycotting the state’s legislature demanding “action against" over 20 of its 67 MLAs (assembly strength is 175) who defected to the TDP.

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