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After Jallikattu's Success in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Youth to Protest for Special Status

Days after the Tamil Nadu government promulgated an ordinance lifting the ban on Jallikattu, the Andhra Pradesh youth and political parties are set to converge at Vishakhapatnam’s iconic RK Beach to demand Special Status on January 26, 2017.

The Jallikattu movement has become an inspiration for the people of Andhra Pradesh who have been fighting for the promised special status for the state after it was bifurcated in 2014.

The silent protest call was made on Social Media and has spread like a wildfire. The police have, however, denied permission for any protest at RK Beach, citing security concerns during the Republic Day celebrations. DGP Sambasiva Rao has exhorted the youth not to pay heed to protest call on social media and advised them not to converge at RK beach.

The call gained momentum after getting massive support from Tollywood celebrities. Power star and Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan, one of the biggest Telugu star, has appealed to the youth to show the same strength and spirit as Tamilians to achieve their right of Special Status. He tweeted, “If the Central government and state government stop peaceful protest on January 26, then be prepared for a long drawn “Battle of Andhras” for their rights.”

For Vizag police, security concerns do not end with Republic Day. The City of Vishakhapatnam is also hosting CII Partnership Summit on January 27-28, where over 3000 delegates and investors from 40 countries are expected to participate. Not just Vizag, police in Vijayawada, Tirupathi and other big cities are on high alert.

Other actors like Sai Dharam Tej, Varun Tej, Nikhil Siddhartha, Sharwanand, Sundeep Kishan, S Sivaji and Sampoornesh Babu have expressed their support on social media and are likely to be a part of the protest.

Main opposition leader and YSRCP Chief Jagan Mohan Reddy has also called for a Candle Light rally in Vizag to assert the demand of Special Status. YSRCP has decided to raise the issue in the Budget session, too, after which all MP’s have taken a call to resign.

Speaking to CNN News 18, Jagan Reddy said, “The Chief Minister should emulate the neighbouring Tamil Nadu where the Chief Minister had led an all-party delegation and forced the Centre to fall in line on the Jallikattu issue.”

Instead of such a positive approach, Reddy said, “Chandrababu Naidu has been toeing a negative line to save his skin in the wake of various scams he is involved in. We will carry out our Rally and get arrested if the state tries to suppress our democratic demand.”

The Congress party has also extended its support to all groups demanding Special Status and decided to participate in the silent protest. However, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has hit out at opposition parties. He said that the aim of the protest is to create unrest in the state, and therefore, it cannot be allowed.

Political parties and people of Andhra Pradesh have been demanding Special status for the state since the state was bifurcated in 2014.

However, Andhra Pradesh was only granted “special economic package” by the Centre. Even though promise to grant AP special status was made in Parliament by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but the present BJP-led Central government has clarified that according to 14th Finance Commission recommendation, Special Status cannot be granted to Andhra Pradesh.