Shah, Naidu take the battle to streets

Weeks after severing ties, the BJP and the TDP have taken the battle to the streets. BJP national president Amit Shah had written an open letter to TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu accusing him of ignoring development and taking opportunist politics to the forefront.

Shah, in his nine page letter tried to expose Chandrababu Naidu’s wrong doings in the last four years, while Naidu in his two-hour long speech in Assembly made an attempt to prove Shah wrong. He had even tried to call the BJP a betrayer and Shah’s letter as an insult to the people of the State, trying to take people along with him for his battle against the BJP.

The BJP chief tried to explain the number of ways that the BJP government had tried to help the State and how the TDP government in the State tried to divert the funds or failed to utilise the financial support. Shah said that the Centre had released Rs 1050 crore for the seven backward districts of which the TDP government had utilised only 12 per cent in the four years. He also blamed the government for not floating a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to receive Central assistance to the State under the special package announced in lieu of the special category status. The SPV, if floated, would have seen the flow of funds to the State, Shah said and blamed Naidu for not floating the SPV as that would prevent him from diverting or misusing funds.

Shah also blamed Naidu for not giving lands to the 9 Central institutes that were given to the state in just three years. These are the major contentious issues between the BJP and the TDP governments. There was inordinate delay in giving lands to the Central government to establish the Central institutions like IIT, NIT and so on.

But, Naidu called Shah’s letter a pack of lies and said a big no to floating SPV as that would put financial burden on the State under the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) as the State would be ceased of the opportunity to go for external borrowing beyond the limits fixed by the FRBM Act 2003. On not full utilisation of the Central funds and delay in land allocation for the Central institutions, Naidu had no answer.

Given the tone that Shah had set in his letter against the TDP, it is clear that the BJP would go tough in the days to come which would leave the TDP off guarded. The BJP’s campaign mode is bigger and faster when compared to the campaign mode and media management of the TDP.

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