NEW DELHI: Senior leaders of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee and Left parties today expressed dismay over separate protests for "Special Category Status" to the state, saying the BJP government will note such "hostilities" and reject the demand.
Members of the ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh and the opposition YSR Congress Party are protesting in the national capital in support of their demand.
The Andhra Pradesh unit of the Congress, the CPI and the CPI(M) today held separate protests on Parliament Street underlining their demand for Special Category Status (SCS).
Despite a plan to hold a joint protest in the national capital by the Congress and the Left parties, as announced two days ago, their venues were separated by 200 meters.
Former AP minister and Congress loyalist Kasu Krishna Reddy, who took part in both the protests, said, "Such hostilities will send a wrong message and there is a danger of the Centre ignoring the issue.
"We should unite for this demand. I will take up the issue with the APCC president and other senior leaders," he added.
CPI (Andhra Pradesh) Secretary K Rama Krishna said, "They have announced their own protest. We will speak to them for a joint protest in the coming days."
Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh told the Left party cadres he would support the cause in Parliament.
"Our party, farmers, students, businessmen, Andhra Pradesh, all have been cheated by the BJP government. There is a need for the people to unite. We will support AP leaders in Parliament tomorrow," Singh said.
Taking part in the APCC protest, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today said the party will grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh if voted to power in 2019.
"I am confident that if we stand together we will convince the Government of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi that what is due to the people of Andhra Pradesh should be given to them," he said.
The demand was raised after erstwhile Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated.
The protesters claim that the bifurcation caused a huge revenue deficit for the successor Andhra Pradesh.
The Centre announced a "special package" in 2016 for Andhra, but the TDP government claimed no funds have been released under the package.
This has turned the focus back on special category status for AP.