Kejriwal Meets TDP MPs Detained For Protesting Outside PM Modi's Residence For AP Special Status

| April 8 , 2018 , 14:16 IST

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) lawmakers protesting outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence in Delhi on Sunday morning demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh were forcibly removed and detained at the Tughlaq Road Police Station.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met with the protesting MPs and expressed solidarity to their cause.

"TDP MPs taken to Tughlak Road Police Station for demanding Special status for AP. I went and met them at police station in solidarity. We condemn their detention and fully support demand for special status of AP," tweeted Kejriwal, along with pictures of him meeting the protesters.

The MPs had been forcibly removed from outside PM Modi's residence on Lok Kalyan Marg and were packed into buses to take them to the police station, but they continued waving their placards and raising slogans against the BJP-led central government.

"The MPs who were protesting have been taken into preventive custody. We will free them in an hour. No case will be lodged against them," a police officer said to CNN-News18.

The support from AAP head Kejriwal comes days after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu met with the Delhi CM as part of his efforts to mobilise support for the no-confidence motion against the government over the special status issue.

The TDP MPs had staged a similar protest inside the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's chamber on Friday evening and had again been forcibly removed.

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A similar incident took place in the Central Hall of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha on April 5 when TDP MPs of the Upper House refused to leave the chamber even after the adjournment for the day at 2:30 PM. They were then marshalled out of the Rajya Sabha around 8:15 PM.

Both Andhra Pradesh's ruling TDP and Opposition YSR Congress Party have been conducting extensive protests against the Centre, since there was no mention of a special category status or financial package for the state in the Union Budget 2018.

While TDP pulled out of the BJP-led NDA alliance, YSR Congress Party MPs have been on an indefinite hunger strike for more than 40 hours now, demanding special demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh.