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Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu’s day-long dharna turns into stage for opposition unity | India News

NEW DELHI: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s day-long fast on Monday, demanding special status for the state, turned out to be the rallying point for opposition leaders seeking to put up a united front against the BJP-led NDA for the Lok Sabha polls.

Shortly after Naidu sat on the day-long fast at Andhra Bhavan, opposition leaders headed for the spot to show solidarity and target the Modi gvernment. Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut made a surprise appearance and said Andhra Pradesh had been wronged.

The Congress contingent was the strongest with former PM Manmohan Singh accompanying party chief Rahul Gandhi. Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Digvijay Singh and Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath also shared the stage with Naidu.

“The PM has stolen from the people of Andhra Pradesh and he has given that money to Anil Ambani. I want to let you know that we are all standing together. We are going to defeat the BJP,” Rahul said.

Manmohan Singh, who was PM when Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated, said, “This demand had support of all parties when it was discussed in Parliament. I stand in solidarity with Naidu.”

Apart from Congress leaders, TMC’s Derek O’Brien, RSP’s N K Premachandran, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and his nephew Dharmendra Yadav, NC leader Farooq Abdullah, DMK’s Thiruchi Siva, former PM HD Deve Gowda were among those who spoke in favour of Naidu’s cause. Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and rebel BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha addressed thegathering.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee will be in Delhi to hold her protest-dharna on Wednesday.

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