Instead of special status, Andhra got stale ‘laddus’: Kalyan

Vijayawada: Telugu film star and Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan today launched a vitriolic attack on the Centre for denying special category state status to Andhra Pradesh and accused it of stabbing the people in the belly.

“The Congress stabbed (the people of AP) in the back (by dividing the state) and, when we sought justice, the BJP stabbed in the stomach,” Kalyan lashed out, addressing the “Andhrula Atma Gourava Sabha” (Andhra’s self-respect) rally in Kakinada town, around 200km from here, this evening.

Both parties should apologise to the people, he added.

Instead of beating around the bush and citing excuses in the name of 14th Finance Commission, Constitution or something else, the Centre should clearly say “we will or we will not” give special status, he said.

“Don’t speak in language that people cannot comprehend. AP people had been seeking special status to the state but after keeping them in hope for over two years, the Centre finally thrust two stale ‘laddus’ in their hands.”

He singled out Union Minister and BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu for the attack, saying he failed to get special status for AP despite repeated promises.

“I have nothing against you personally but I differ with your political policies. Please don’t do injustice to AP. Wake up and do justice,” Kalyan told Venkaiah.

“Venkaiah Naidu effectively killed the BJP in AP. It’s better for that party cadre to search for alternatives,” he alleged.

Training his guns on the ruling Telugu Desam Party, the actor-turned-politician said, “If you can’t fight (for special status), leave it to Jana Sena. We will show how to fight and what we can do.

“I strained my relationship with my eldest brother (Chiranjeevi), mother and other family members and supported the TDP-BJP combine (in the 2014 elections). I didn’t care even if my life was endangered.”

“Don’t mortgage the self-respect of Andhra at the feet of the Centre. Hold your head high and demand for special status that is our right,” he told the TDP.

“I have the capacity to corner you and cause adequate trouble for the next two-and-a-half years. You have committed those many mistakes,” the 45-year-old Jana Sena leader said.

This was Kalyan’s second public meeting after the one in Tirupati on August 27.

The popular filmstar, who supported the TDP-BJP combine in the 2014 elections, vowed to fight till AP was granted special status as promised.

On Wednesday night, the Centre announced a financial package for Andhra Pradesh that includes full funding of Pollavaram irrigation project, tax concessions and a special assistance, but stopped short of giving the state a special category status.

Meanwhile, the TDP reacted cautiously to Kalyan’s latest attack.

“We will welcome anyone fighting for the rights of AP. Be cautious while reacting to Kalyan’s remarks,” TDP President and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu told his party MLAs at a meeting here late this evening.

“Pawan Kalyan is speaking genuinely,” he remarked.