Hyderabad: Ahead of Modi’s visit to Andhra Pradesh on Friday, black hoardings were erected in Vishakhpatnam’s main centres as a sign of protest by the ruling Telugu Desam Party in the state.
Each hoarding carries the hashtag #We Demand, and lists one demand starting from a Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh.
This is also not the first time that the state has staged such a protest against the Centre. During the Modi's visit to the state last month, the TDP put up 'anti-modi' hoardings' with caricatures of the Prime Minister. The hoardings were eventually pulled down after the local BJP leaders reached out to the police.
Naidu’s party leaders and cabinet ministers, donned in black, had taken to the streets to demand that the Centre fulfil the promises made under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act.
The TDP has once again taken to hoardings to express their resentment against the Centre. And this time too, the leaders are expected to be dressed in black in protest, following the Chief Minister’s instructions, sources have said.
“It is a peaceful protest this time. We just want to highlight what kind of promises have been made and the face that majority of them have not been fulfilled,” Lanka Dinakar, TDP spokesperson told News18.
The state government’s fight for a special category status for the state has been on for years now, and was one of the reasons behind the TDP’s fallout with National Democratic Alliance.
Since then, CM Chandrababu Naidu and the members of his government have staged several protests including a day-long dharna in the national capital.
Among the other demands the state government is pressing for, are funds promised under the bifurcation act, a Rs 1000 crore cyclone relief fund and a Vishakhpatnam railway zone.
Earlier this week, the Naidu government slammed the Centre’s decision to make Vishakhpatnam the new headquarters of the new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh, calling it an election gimmick.
The Chief Minister had pointed out that a major part of the revenue-making division, Waltair, has been given to neighbouring state Odisha following the bifurcation of the zones and called it an injustice to Andhra Pradesh.
Prime Minister Modi is expected to address a public gathering in Vishakapatnam on Friday evening.