India lawmaker dresses as Hitler to criticize prime minister

Indian lawmaker Naramalli Sivaprasa stands dressed like Adolf Hitler outside the Indian parliament building in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Sivaprasa appeared in Parliament dressed like Hitler with a toothbrush moustache and wearing a khaki coat with swastika symbols on his pocket and arm. His demand: More funds for the development of his state in southern India. He said he wanted to send a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to follow Hitler. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI — An Indian lawmaker has appeared in Parliament dressed like Adolf Hitler with a toothbrush moustache and wearing a khaki coat with swastika symbols on his pocket and arm. His demand: More funds for the development of his state in southern India.

Naramalli Sivaprasad also raised his hand in a Nazi salute for the media on Thursday. His appearance did not trigger any protests from legislators.

He said he wanted to send a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to follow Hitler. He complained that Modi had gone back on a promise to provide extra funds for his Andhra Pradesh state.

"He does not get the pulse of what people want and I want to urge him to not be like him (Hitler)," he said.

Modi's government denies the charge.

In protest, Sivaprasad's powerful regional group, the Telugu Desam Party, broke its alliance with the Modi government in March. It also unsuccessfully tried to bring down the government through a no-confidence motion last month in Parliament.

Sivaprasad, a 67-year-old former film actor, has previously dressed as a farmer, a cattle herder, a Muslim cleric and a woman to press different issues.

Hitler remains a figure of fascination in India, where the Holocaust is not well known, and is widely seen more as a strong leader than a genocidal dictator. His book, "Mein Kampf," can be found in many bookstores, and bootleg copies are regularly sold in the streets of New Delhi and other large cities.

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This story has been corrected to show that surname of Indian lawmaker is Sivaprasad instead of Sivaprasa.

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