Modi terms Naidu’s al­liance with Cong ‘un­holy’

Andhra CM hits back; says PM has low­ered the dig­nity of his of­fice to abysmal depths

The Hindu Business Line - - POLITICS - CH RS SARMA

Pol­i­tics reached a fever pitch on Sun­day in Andhra Pradesh, as Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi vis­ited Gun­tur to launch three ma­jor oil and gas projects and used the op­por­tu­nity to “ex­pose the U-turn by Chief Min­is­ter Chan­drababu Naidu, his op­por­tunis­tic pol­i­tics and un­holy al­liance with the Congress.”

The Chief Min­is­ter hit back at the PM, say­ing: “Mine is the right turn, not the U-turn. I am ex­er­cis­ing great re­straint in re­ply­ing to the wild charges he made at Gun­tur, as I am con­scious of the dig­nity and hon­our of the high of­fice and Con­sti­tu­tional po­si­tion he is hold­ing. I shall, how­ever, put the facts be­fore the pub­lic of the State and the na­tion and they will bless me. No other PM has low­ered the dig­nity of the high of­fice to such abysmal depths.” The Prime Min­is­ter re­it­er­ated here on Sun­day that his govern­ment will al­ways strive for the wel­fare of the peo­ple of Andhra Pradesh and “it is the U-turn by the Chief Min­is­ter of the State, Sri­man Chan­drababu Naidu, which is re­spon­si­ble for the dif­fi­cul­ties faced by the peo­ple of the State”.

Protests were or­gan­ised by var­i­ous po­lit­i­cal par­ties — the Tel­ugu De­sam Party, the Congress and the Com­mu­nists — at Vi­jayawada, Gun­tur and other places in the State, urg­ing the PM to “go back” as “he had be­trayed the in­ter­ests of the State by not grant­ing the promised spe­cial cat­e­gory sta­tus (SCS) and re­leas­ing enough funds for the State af­ter bi­fur­ca­tion.”

The Chief Min­is­ter said he will sit on a day-long hunger strike — “dharma po­rata deek­sha ” — at Andhra Bha­van in New Delhi from 8am to 8pm on Mon­day, de­mand­ing SCS for the State.

The Prime Min­is­ter spoke at a pub­lic meet­ing or­gan­ised by the BJP here af­ter ded­i­cat­ing two ma­jor projects in the State to the na­tion — the strate­gic crude oil stor­age fa­cil­ity at Visakha­p­at­nam with a ca­pac­ity of 1.33 mil­lion tonnes built at a cost of ₹1,125 crore and S1 Vashista gas field de­vel­op­ment project in the Kr­ishna-Go­davari basin taken up by the ONGC at a cost of ₹5,700 crore. He also laid the foun­da­tion stone for the coastal in­stal­la­tion fa­cil­ity be­ing con­structed at Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam port by the BPCL at a cost of ₹2,280 crore.

In his hour-long speech, the PM spoke about how the three oil and gas projects will help the State and the coun­try and cas­ti­gated the Chief Min­is­ter, his son and State IT Min­is­ter, Nara Lokesh.

Spe­cial as­sis­tance pack­age

The Prime Min­is­ter said the NDA govern­ment had sanc­tioned a spe­cial as­sis­tance pack­age in lieu of the promised SCS and was tak­ing all steps to im­ple­ment it, “but af­ter ac­cept­ing it whole­heart­edly and pass­ing a res­o­lu­tion TDP lead­ers and ac­tivists staged a protest in Vi­jayawada, against Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s visit to Gun­tur on Sun­day

in the State As­sem­bly, thank­ing the Cen­tre, the Chief Min­is­ter has now changed his stand and taken a U-turn. He is abus­ing the BJP and me per­son­ally. I un­der­stand he has ex­hausted all the neg­a­tive words and ep­i­thets in the rich Tel­ugu lan­guage, in heap­ing abuse on me. But what is my crime?”

The Prime Min­is­ter said the NDA govern­ment had sanc­tioned projects worth ₹3 lakh crore to the State dur­ing the past four-and-a-half years. “The AP Re­or­gan­i­sa­tion

Act, 2014, has given a pe­riod of 10 years and we are sin­cerely im­ple­ment­ing all the pro­vi­sions of the Act in let­ter and spirit. Sud­denly, for rea­sons best known to him, the CM has taken a U-turn af­ter four years for his po­lit­i­cal gains and is busy spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion.”

He ac­cused the CM of be­tray­ing “the legacy of NTR, who founded the Tel­ugu De­sam Party and fought against the cor­rupt Congress, tooth and nail. The BJP was with NTR in his strug­gle against the cor­rupt Congress. His son-in­law, who back-stabbed him dur­ing his life­time, has now joined hands with the Congress. NTR’s soul must be writhing in agony.”

Prime Min­is­ter Modi thanked TDP work­ers for or­gan­is­ing protests that urged him to “go back”. He said: “I shall cer­tainly go back to New Delhi af­ter emerg­ing vic­to­ri­ous in the com­ing elec­tions. I ac­cept the com­pli­ments and bless­ings of my TDP friends.”

He said the peo­ple of AP will see through the de­signs of the CM and bless the BJP in the com­ing elec­tions.

Naidu’s replied to the PM’s com­ments and said: “The Prime Min­is­ter has gone to Gun­tur to abuse me and my son. He has not touched upon any of the is­sues rel­e­vant to the State or the coun­try and re­duced it to a tamasha.” He sought to know “which projects worth ₹3 lakh crores, the hon­ourable PM was re­fer­ring to.“Peo­ple in the coun­try want him to go back, not to New Delhi, but to Gu­jarat, where he has come from.,” he added.

V RAJU

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