Is Chandrababu Naidu planning a front of southern states?

Hyderabad: The war of words between BJP and TDP is continuing unabated. Ever since TDP pulled out of NDA and moved a no-confidence against the BJP-led government, a bitter exchange began between the two parties. Not a single day goes without Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu slams BJP for not fulfilling commitments made to the state. The BJP leaders, both at the Centre and in the state, either defend themselves or launch a counter attack.

Taking this acrimony to a new level, BJP national chief Amit Shah dashed off a letter to the TDP chief in response to his letter sent the day when TDP pulled out of the alliance.

In the letter released to media on Saturday, Amit Shah launched a scathing attack on Naidu. The BJP chief alleged that TDP’s decision to quit the NDA was unilateral “guided wholly and solely by political considerations instead of development concerns”.

Shah described as “untrue and baseless” the TDP chief’s allegations that the BJP was not sensitive to the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

He said the central government had released Rs 1,050 crore in the first three years coming to power as special development assistance for seven backward districts of the state.

“Surprisingly, the state has spent only 12 per cent of this amount and 88 per cent remains unutilized,” Shah said.

He termed as “nothing but a figment of your imagination” the Chief Minister’s claims that the Central government had asked the the amount be taken back because it was released without PMO’s sanction.

Shah accused the state government of “some serious lapses…which can’t be ignored”.

Hours later, Naidu used Assembly as the platform to launch a counterattack on Shah. He termed the letter as pack of lies.

The TDP chief accused the BJP leader of insulting the people of the state through his lies. He questioned Shah for attributing ulterior motives to him.

Naidu went on to allege that BJP has done grave injustice to Andhra Pradesh than the Congress party. He said while Congress divided the state without doing justice, the BJP betrayed the people by going back on the commitments made at the time of bifurcation.

Accusing the Centre of discrimination against Andhra Pradesh, Naidu wondered how the special category status could be accorded to the North Eastern state while the same is denied to Andhra Pradesh.

Making a point by point rebuttal to Shah’s letter, Naidu reiterated that the state has not received any additional funds from the Centre other than those due to the state towards its share in the central taxes.

The relations between TDP and BJP are likely to further worsen. Naidu has already expressed apprehension that BJP may resort to witch-hunt for quitting the NDA. He has asked party MPs and leaders to be ready to face any difficulties and be prepared to make any sacrifice.

Naidu has the apprehension that CBI inquiry may be ordered against him and his son Nara Lokesh in the allegations of corruption. He believes BJP is behind the allegations made by YSR Congress Party and actor politician Pawan Kalyan. The state BJP leaders are also alleging corruption in Pattiseema and Polavaram projects

The TDP chief termed this as a conspiracy to politically destabilize the state by targeting the TDP.  He even alleged that BJP is looking to weaken the leadership of South India. He cited the developments in Tamil Nadu following death of AIADMK leader Jayalalitha.

Political observers say Naidu is trying to garner support of other southern states in his fight against the Centre. He is keen to turn the tussle with BJP into a larger issue of discrimination against the south.

Naidu always enjoys to be in the political limelight. He as the convenor of United Front had played the role of a kingmaker. He brought together non-Congress and non-BJP parties together. Later he also played a key role by extending support to National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Vajpayee.  

Though he joined NDA before 2014 polls to safeguard the state’s interests, the refusal by the BJP to accept majority of his demands came as a huge shock to him. He not only pulled out his ministers from NDA government but snapped all ties with the alliance and the BJP.

Naidu, who was never tired of praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi , suddenly realized that he is not doing justice to Andhra Pradesh. With elections only a year away, Naidu is busy devising a strategy along with other regional parties in the south to stop BJP from getting a foothold in the region. For this he plans to float a front of the parties from all southern states.

With other southern states too complaining of the injustice, Naidu believes they will have a common ground to take on BJP.

Ravi Batchali
About Ravi Batchali 1549 Articles
With twenty five years of  experience in Print / Electronic & Social Media, had an illustrious career in leading daily news papers. Very creative and a tenacious reporter of the news with a reputation for impeccable ethics. His passion for Community Journalism and his work as a staff reporter was widely acclaimed. An excellent storyteller who treats news, features and other events with equal priority.

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