Vijayawada: A day after his bitter war of words with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Andhra soil, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday took his fight to the national capital, where he sat on a day-long fast that ended at 8.20 pm when former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda offered him juice.

Mr Naidu was demanding Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh and implementation of provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act.

Senior national leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav came to AP Bhavan where Mr Naidu was sitting on a fast.

Leaders of almost all Ppposition parties were in attendance.

BJP ally Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut also made a surprise appearance at the protest venue in the morning.

Speaking before beginning his Deeksha, Mr Naidu accused Mr Modi of not following raj dharma. ‘Atal Behari Vajpayee had said raj dharma was not followed in Gujarat during the 2002 riots. Now, raj dharma is not being followed in the case of Andhra Pradesh. We have been denied what is rightfully ours,’ the Chief Minister said.

Rs 20 lakh ex gracia to kin of deceased, state funeral

Claiming that a disabled man Davala Arjun Rao from Srikakulam had committed suicide, demanding Special Category Status in Delhi, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced Rs 20 lakh ex gratia to the deceased’ family.

He also said that the deceased will get a state funeral. He added that since he sacrificed his life for the cause of Andhra Pradesh, government had decided on ex gratia and a state funeral. Mr Naidu said that Arjun Rao who became disabled due to a mishap had come all the way to Delhi on his own to take part in Naidu’s deeksha and committed suicide.

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