Home India Politics Andhra MP launches hunger strike for ‘united state’

Andhra MP launches hunger strike for ‘united state’


Hyderabad: Opposing the proposed formation of a separate Telangana state, Congress MP L. Rajagopal began an indefinite hunger strike in Vijayawada Tuesday, a day after he was arrested twice for launching the protest.

While his colleague, Congress legislator Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy, was arrested in Hyderabad for beginning an indefinite hunger strike to protest the proposed division of the state, Rajagopal returned to Vijayawada city Tuesday and launched the fast at Swaraj Maidan along with some of his supporters.

Before leaving for Vijayawada, his constituency in coastal Andhra, the industrialist MP told reporters that the police was forcibly sending him back. “I have been on hunger strike since yesterday and will continue the same in Vijayawada. After the hunger strike I will visit the entire state to strengthen the movement for samaikya Andhra (united Andhra Pradesh),” he said.

Rajagopal was arrested in Hyderabad Monday night, the second time in the day, when he sat on the fast at the Lal Bahadur Stadium along with some party legislators. He also called for a public debate on the proposed division of the state.

He was sent to the Falaknuma police station in the old city, where workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti staged a protest against him and raised slogans like “Rajagopal go back”.

Police later released him and shifted him to his residence in Banjara Hills amid tight security.

Rajagaopal had earlier been arrested at the airport when he tried to march to the state assembly along with his followers. Anticipating law and order problems, police took him into preventive custody. After the release, he met Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, who advised him not to go on a hunger strike in Hyderabad.

However, after a meeting with party legislators at the state assembly, Rajagopal walked to the stadium and launched the fast.

Rajagopal, whose Lanco Group of companies has huge business interests in Hyderabad, is opposed to the formation of the Telangana state.