Amid protests by the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), left parties and the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi blew the poll bugle in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday.
The political temperature soared in the state which is scheduled to go for elections along with the Lok Sabha polls this year. Addressing a rally in Guntur, PM Modi launched a blistering attack on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who was until last year, was an important ally of the BJP-led NDA government.
Referring to Naidu’s previous comment on him being senior in politics, PM Modi said: “Yes, you are senior but in changing your political partners. You are senior in leaving one group and joining the other.”
The PM claimed that in the past 55 months, his government has established at least 10 central institutes likes IIT, IIM and AIIMS in the state, and also provided adequate funds which the Naidu government has misused.
“He [Naidu] says I am bad on wealth creation. Yes, I am as I don’t create wealth for myself like you wanted to create in Amravati and Polavaram projects. He is against me as I stopped him doing irregularities as a Chowkidar of this country,” said PM Modi.
The PM also took a dig at the TDP chief’s minister son Nara Lokesh saying that Chandrababu Naidu instead of making Andhra Pradesh a ‘Sunrise State’ busy insuring his ‘Son’ rise.
Taking exception to the prime minister addressing him as father of Lokesh, Naidu launched a counter-offensive by dragging PM Modi’s wife into the row. Naidu said “I am being personal because you [Modi] attacked me personally. The PM brought triple talaq but he can’t answer questions on those subjects in his personal life.”
Responding to PM Modi targeting his son Nara Lokesh, Naidu said: “I am proud of being Lokesh dad, Devansh’s grandfather and Bhuvaneswari’s husband and always promote family values, whereas Modi has no family and is unable to appreciate those aspects.”
The chief minister also continued his outburst at the prime minister, accusing him of ruining the country and all the systems.
Naidu, who had earlier welcomed demonetisation when it was announced on November 8, 2016, now called it a mad Tughlaq act.
They scrapped Rs 1000 currency note but brought in Rs 2000 note. How will corruption end, he asked.
The TDP had quit the NDA in March last year protesting against the injustice done to the state post-bifurcation.
NAIDU PROTEST TODAY
Naidu will stage a protest against the Centre in Delhi on Monday. The chief minister, along with ministers, MLAs, MLCs and TDP MPs, will stage Deeksha at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in the national capital seeking special category status to the state and fulfilment of state bifurcation assurances.
The TDP chief will observe fast from 8 am today and submit a memorandum to the President on February 12.
Several leaders of different political parties including the Congress, AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, NCP president Sharad Pawar and former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah are likely to attend the protest and express their solidarity with Naidu.
As PM Modi failed to mention about the long pending demand of Andhra People on according special category status to AP and fulfilment of state bifurcation assurances during his visit to Guntur today, people expressed their ire against the Modi government.
Thousands of people thronged the main roads of Vijayawada and Guntur from the airport and staged protests sporting black dresses and empty black pots. People were also seen waving placards of Modi go back.