Modi terms Naidu’s alliance with Cong ‘unholy’
Andhra CM hits back; says PM has lowered the dignity of his office to abysmal depths
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.