The movement for special category state status to Andhra Pradesh took a violent turn today when a youth attempted self-immolation in a meeting organized by the Congress party in Tirupati.
It is the first self-immolation attempt in recent times in Andhra Pradesh, though such incidents happened in Telangana during movement for separate Telangana. The Seema-Andhra region, which also witnessed agitation, was free of such aberrations by the students and youth.
So, the Tirupati incident is certain to take the movement to a new height. Congress has launched the movement to exert pressure on Centre for special status. Today’s meeting was the first in the series of meetings the party planned.
Former union minister Chiranjeevi, PCC president N Raghuvira Reddy, opposition leader in Legislative council C Ramachandraiah also participated.
The self-sacrifice indicates the depth of demand for special category status among the people of Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh Congress today launched “praja poru” in Tirupati which began with a public meeting. When former minister Killi Kruparani was addressing the meeting, a local youth by name Muni Koti, created commotion, when he doused himself with petrol and set afire while sitting among the people. Congress workers have shifted the youth to Ruia hospital. The party succeeded in mobilizing party workers for the meeting in thousands. As it was once the Assembly constituency of Chiranjeevi, mega star’s fans also gathered in a big way for the meeting held at Municipal junction in town.
According to sources, Koti is a Congress worker. He resorted to this extreme step only to demonstrate the immediacy of bestowing the special status on AP.
Koti is said to have suffered 50 pc burn injuries.
Undisturbed, Congress leaders continued the meeting.
Reacting to incident PCC president N Raghuvira Reddy reminded how Narendra Modi ditched Andhra Pradesh forcing the people to hit roads for a legitimate right.
“While campaigning for elections, Narendra Modi told Tirupati people that after bifurcation Seemandhra had become orphan. He also assured not to worry about it as BJP was coming to power and would take care of you,” the PCC president said and accused the BJP and TDP responsible for Koti’s attempted self-immolation.
Raghuvira announced Rs 2 lakh assistance to Koti and assured that Congress would take care of his treatment expenditure
“Self-immolation is not the solution. Youth should not resort to suicides. It is they who backed out of their own assurances should commit suicide. As the centre and BJP leaders ditched the state, AP youth feel insulted and attempting to suicide out of frustration. This is only a beginning. The CPI is observing banth on August 11. Both TDP and BJP are responsible this tragic event,” CPI leader Narayana reacted.
Narayana appealed to the youth against taking any extreme step instead of fighting our justice.
“Koti incident should serve as eye-opener to all political parties to come together to achieve the special status for Andhra Pradesh,” Narayana said.
Movie actor Sivaji, who has been fighting for special status, warned center of serious consequences if something happens to Koti.
“All political parties, including TDP and BJP, should think of importance of special status. Even Pavan Kalyana also should come out and fight for the special status,”Sivaji said and appealed to the youth not to take recourse to unwarranted sacrifices.