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Jana Sena men?make bid to disrupt Venkaiah meet

Vijayawada: As if a sign of widening gulf between the ruling NDA and its ally Jana Sena, fans of the latter’s leader Pawan Kalyan tasted the ire of police while protesting over special category status at a meeting of Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu in Kakinada on Friday. According to information, around 10 Jana Sena activists were allegedly roughed up and arrested on the charge of disrupting Naidu’s meeting. The BJP organized a programme on “Development of Andhra Pradesh with Central Assistance and Awareness on Special Package” with the Urban Development Minister and BJP senior leader Siddharthnath Singh as principal speakers. Even as Naidu was ruling out the scope for extending special category status to the state, he was greeted by a bunch of black balloons let off by the Jana Sena protesters from a high-rise building. The gesture was followed by slogans such as “special category is Andhra right”. A visibly disturbed Naidu continued his address, skipping the sensitive issue. It was suspected that the protesters secretly reached the top of a building by giving the slip to the police and registered their protest. It may be recalled that the Jana Sena leader has launched a campaign demanding special category status in line with the Centre’s promise given at the time of the state bifurcation. Incidentally, he held a massive rally in Kakinada sometime back on the same issue. Pawan Kalyan is poised to lead a similar show of protest in Anantapur on November 10. The special category status became a contentious issue for the allies. When Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu contended with the NDA’s offer of special package as a substitute to the SCS, Pawan, however, is sticking to his guns. He repeatedly asserts that nothing short of special category status was non-negotiable since it was question of sentiment of people. Anantapur’s show is expected to let Pawan make clear of his next course of action while giving anxious moments to the ruling establishments. A close aide of Pawan told The Hans India that the Jana Sena leader is likely to decide on whether he would go it alone or find partners in taking his mission on special category to its logical end. Incidentally, the alliance went to the police in the 2014 elections with the plank of special category status for 10 years.

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