Rajahmundry: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday began a day-long hunger strike in the Rajahmundry Central Prison.
Accoridng to party members, the strike was started against Naidu’s “illegal” arrest, while as Naidu’s wife Bhuvaneswari and various other leaders also protested against the arrest.
Naidu was arrested by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) on September 9.
On September 10, he was sent to judicial custody for 14 days in connection with a Rs 371 crore corruption scam in which he is accused of masterminding a conspiracy to divert money meant to train unemployed youth. The case involves the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation, that was established when Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party was in power.
The former Chief Minister’s quash petition was already dismissed by Andhra Pradesh High Court. He has challenged the same in the Supreme Court.
According to TDP leaders, Naidu’s fast, which began at 10am and end at 5pm on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is to protest against the autocratic rule of Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and the manner in which democracy is being undermined in Andhra Pradesh.
Bhuvaneswari along with other women leaders of the TDP, undertook the hunger strike with the slogan ‘Satyameva Jayate’ at Quarry Centre in the town.
In a post on X, she said: “Tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary today. Mahatma Gandhi’s life had a message for us all: that any battle, no matter how difficult, can be won if we uphold the principles of truth and justice. His enduring legacy, especially the Satyagraha continues to inspire us to embrace the power of truth in all our endeavors.”
Meanwhile, Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh, who is camping in Delhi, also observed a fast at the residence of TDP MP K Ravindra Kumar.
State TDP K Atchannaidu along with other leaders also launched the hunger strike at party headquarters in Mangalagiri in Guntur district.
Family members of TDP MLA and actor N Balakrishna were also on a day-long hunger strike at NTR Trust Bhavan in Hyderabad.