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Modi arrives in Andhra, protests staged

Protests were staged across Andhra Pradesh on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on a day-long visit during which he will unveil developmental projects and address a mass rally. Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders received Modi at the Gannavaram Airport at Vijayawada. He later flew in s helicopter to Guntur where he will launch the projects and address the rally. Wearing black dresses and carrying black flags, the protesters took to the streets since early Sunday morning. Raising slogans like “Modi go back”, the activists of various political parties, student groups and mass organisations staged sit-ins or took out rallies.

Leaders and activists of the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Congress and Left parties also participated in the protests staged in all the 13 districts that called for a Special Category Status (SCS) to the state. Barring the BJP, YSR Congress and Jana Sena of actor Pawan Kalyan, all parties backed the protests.Leaders of the Left parties held protests in Guntur. They threatened to disrupt Modi’s rally over his “betrayal” to the state. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said Modi had no right to visit the state as he has not fulfilled his promise to accord the SCS and various other commitments the Prime Minister had made during the state’s bifurcation in 2014.

This is Modi’s first visit to Andhra Pradesh after the TDP pulled out of BJP-led NDA last year.

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