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BJP targets Chandrababu, asserts Centre's commitment towards Andhra

Anurag Dey | Updated on: 4 April 2018, 23:48 IST

Amid Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s efforts to garner support for the no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi-led government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dismissed his charges of the Centre ignoring the development of the southern state.

Having quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has been on the offensive against the Modi government over the demand for special category status to Andhra. 

Campaigning in the national Capital, Naidu met key Opposition leaders including Congress’ Veerappa Moily, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar, Trinamool Congress' Derek O’Brien and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Besides in interviews to TV news channels, Naidu in a media conference in Delhi, accused the Centre of betraying the people of Andhra Pradesh. “I wanted to communicate to the nation about what they promised and what they have done, how they are attacking a state,” Naidu said.

Subsequently, the BJP refuted Naidu’s charges and ridiculed him for his attempts to seek support from the Opposition. Taking strong exception to his allegations, senior BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar claimed the Union government went out of its way to help rebuild the bifurcated state. 

“One should not be going to an extent to say that BJP is attacking Andhra Pradesh. We don’t even attack our erstwhile friends in unfriendly manner,” he said.

“It is painful to hear him say that the TDP got at least 15 seats less (in 2014) because of its alliance with the BJP. If it was not for the Modi wave and the alliance with the BJP, wonder where the TDP would have been now. This is not the way to indulge in such a blame game,” he added.

Amit Shah had already explained him about how the government has gone out of its way to help the state. From investment of Rs 1.4 lakh crore in the petroleum sector and Rs 70,000 crore on highways, to providing and fast-tracking clearances for building Amravati and the Polavaram irrigation project in the state,” Javadekar carried on, referring to Shah’s letter to Naidu.

The BJP National President in his letter last month said the TDP quitting the NDA was “unfortunate” and refuted charges of his party being insensitive to Andhra's aspirations. In response, Naidu said Shah’s letter was “full of false information, which reflected their (BJP) attitude”.

Reiterating the Centre’s commitment towards the development of Andhra Pradesh, Javadekar ridiculed Naidu’s politics. “All have the right to take a political stand, all can do politics , but please don’t pursue he politics of distrust. We (BJP-TDP) fought together against the Congress and now you are holding meetings with them.

“It is painful to see the fallout but there should be a limit to political acrimony. All this blame game with political motive is rubbish. People will eventually realise who has done what. We have done everything for Andhra Pradesh and will continue to do,” Javadekar said.

BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao blamed the Congress for Andhra’s plight and warned against the possibility of the TDP aligning with the Congress. “The Congress is solely responsible for the plight of Andhra Pradesh. The state was bifurcated in a manner detrimental to Andhra region and taken without any consideration of the future of the state.

“Who they ally with is their call and we have nothing to say. But if they go with the Congress, then Naidu will be perceived as a rank opportunist. If he allies with the Congress then Naidu will lose whatever credibility he has left,” Rao said.

First published: 4 April 2018, 23:48 IST