The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday demanded action against actor and Telugu Desam Party MLA N Balakrishna for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi “namak haram”, a traitor, ANI reported. The legislator allegedly made the statement at a meeting where his brother-in-law and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was holding a 12-hour fast to protest the Centre’s inaction on the state’s demand for special status.

The Telugu Desam Party legislator had asked the prime minister to face the people. “Traitor, come out and face people, they will beat you up and make you run,” ANI quoted Balakrishna as saying. “Even if you hide in a bunker, Bharat Mata will bury you. A rebellion has begun and we will not stay quiet.”

A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party legislators submitted a memorandum to Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan in Visakhapatnam demanding action against the MLA. “MLA Balakrishna talks like a lunatic,” BJP leader Sudhish Rambhotla told ANI. “I think he has to be treated for mental illness. He has to be expelled from the party.”

BJP MLC N Ramchander Rao urged the state police to take action against the legislator.

In his speech at the event, Balakrishna also said the prime minister had treated Andhra Pradesh like a fly struggling for survival in a cup of hot tea. “Instead of rescuing it, he chose to take into his mouth and chew it. He is a ‘makhi choos’ [miser],” IANS quoted Balakrishna as saying.

The Centre and Andhra Pradesh have been at loggerheads over the latter’s demand for special status for months now. Protesting leaders from the ruling Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress had disrupted proceedings in Parliament all through the Budget Session in March-April.

The row had even led to the TDP walking out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. Earlier in April, Telugu Desam Party leaders were detained after they protested outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home.