The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, is set to observe a fast (dharma porata deeksha, as it is described by the Telugu Desam Party) here on Friday at the Indira Gandhi municipal stadium, urging the Centre to grant special category status to the State and fulfil the other commitments in the AP Re-organisation Act, 2014. Friday is also the CM's birthday.

A large number of people, more than 10,000, are likely to gather at the venue and participate in the "deeksha", expressing solidarity with the Chief Minister, and the officials have made arrangements for them.

Ministers and Telugu Desam leaders will participate in "deeksha" programmes simultaneously in all the 13 districts of the State to highlight the issues.

The Chief Minister's "deeksha" has been criticised by the Opposition YSR Congress Party "as an attempt to divert public attention from the failures of the Government and the Chief Minister and his failure in securing special category status to the State’’.

BJP, till recently an ally of the ruling TDP, is also critical of the "deeksha". BJP leaders have pointed out that the Chief Minister, who has criticised the Prime Minister's recent "deeksha", is now resorting to the same method. His "double standards" are obvious, they added.

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