Telugu actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan, who has been raising the issue of Special Category Status (SCS) for Andhra Pradesh, on Friday found fault with the state government after it denied permission for a proposed protest on the issue.
Protesters had given a call for a 'silent beach protest' on Thursday, planned to be held at Ramakrishna Beach in Visakhapatnam. To foil it, police had imposed Section 144 of CrPc in the coastal city, banning any assembly of five or more people in an area.
A massive protest call was given taking inspiration from Jallikattu movement to demand special status for Andhra Pradesh. But the state government did not allow any protest to happen. How do you see the reaction of state government in dealing with this issue?
People have all the right to protest and they were not allowed. Special status promise was given to the people while dividing the state and that too, in Parliament. But repeatedly, central government has changed their stand. They kept diluting their promise and decided on special package. After complete analysis, we found its an eyewash and to deceive people. Clearly the government has gone back on its promise, which has left people very hurt. The state was divided without taking proper measures. The entire division was very painful for people and that’s why they want their right of Special Status for state.
The movement has got massive support on social media. We are seeing Tollywood stars and common man has also extended full support. Where do you see this movement going from now, will you also join the protest on ground now ?
Right now, I want to prepare people. There is immense anger and angst in people. Definitely, I will take it forward. They have denied what was promised to the people of Andhra Pradesh. We are not in a hurry. We will take constructive measures first, consolidate our support and go ahead.
The chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu says the special economic package is also good for the state that is given by Centre. You think he has gone back on his promise? Also simultaneously you are taking on BJP led Central government too.
Definitely TDP government has compromised with Central government. I am not taking my words back, I will go against BJP now. It was the right of people that was promised. They cant keep changing stand according to their convenience.
Do you want to take protest demanding Special Status to go on national-level in Delhi as well as you are saying PM Narendra Modi has also failed to fulfill his promise?
When state was divided, Narendra Modi was not Prime Minister. But I know him personally, so if I reason out, I feel he has no personal connect to what happened here during division. But he has moral responsibility to communicate to the people. If Central government cannot give Special Status say it so, but to say this is best that we can give and there is no difference in special package and status, that is really hurting people.
There is a sentiment that we are seeing building up “North-South” divide. What do you mean by that.
The north-south divide is not between people but political class. Same rule has to be applied all over. If BJP government says they are pro smaller states, the rule applied for Andhra and Telangana, now people are asking why same law not applying to Uttar Pradesh or for Vidharbha separate statehood. You are in majority, why not taking this forward. What we all in southern India feel that there is a political elite class of Delhi who want to run the entire country, having majority in Uttar Pradesh. People are rebelling against that thought.
What road ahead do you see now? We also see YSRCP chief Jagan Mohan reddy out on streets supporting the cause. You think its time everyone should come together and fight for Special status collectively?
There is widespread sentiment for sure. Every party is doing their part. We will see in coming days how it takes a collective movement shape. We have to keep our political differences apart for the benefit of the people. The agenda of politics is to serve people only.