NDA indulging in mud-slinging, says Chandrababu; BJP hits back

NDA indulging in mud-slinging, says Chandrababu; BJP hits back

NEW DELHI, April 4: TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday accused the BJP of “mud-slinging” and said the Centre was trying to “damage his credibility” ever since his party began the fight for special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
However, BJP denied allegations and said that Naidu’s charges were “frivolous” which no one will believe.
Speaking at a press conference here, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister demanded setting up of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to look into the issue.
“After the state was bifurcated, we needed hand-holding and that is why we joined the NDA. We went for campaigns together and assured people that justice would be done and people voted for us,” Naidu said.
“Everyone thought the BJP combination would bring betterment. Despite my 29 visits to Delhi during the last four years, nothing has happened, except minor things. Major things are left to be done,” he said.
“People of Andhra Pradesh continue to feel betrayed. But why can’t the present government have a review? Appoint JPC and tell them to have a look into the issue,” he said.
The chief minister also played clips of Prime Minister Narendra Modi promising the special category status (SCS) to Andhra during public meetings in Nellore, Amaravati and Tirupati.
“During a meet in Tirupati, the PM had said that the capital city of Amravati will be better than Delhi. He even advised me to visit Kazakhstan’s capital Astana to get ideas. I do not know what happened after that.
“Now when we are raising our voice, you (BJP) are harassing my government. The central government is indulging in mud-slinging and it is painful. They want to damage my credibility which was built over a period of 40 years,” Naidu said.
Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had last month ended its four-year-old alliance with the BJP and walked out of the NDA, days after two of its Union ministers resigned over the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Following the move, BJP president Amit Shah had in a letter accused the TDP of being driven by political considerations and not the concern for the state.
When asked if he had reached out to Tamil Nadu chief minister E K Palaniswami, the TDP chief said, “They should support our cause as both the states share an excellent relationship”.
“I did not reach out to the Tamil Nadu government. But we are sharing Krishna River water with them and have an excellent relationship. So they should offer support to our cause,” he said.
Commenting on his rival YSRCP’s efforts for getting the SCS for the state, Naidu said, “I am fighting the attitude of the central government. I am not talking as TDP president. Some people may adopt different strategies or have a different agenda. But I want the support of all parties”.
Naidu also accused the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) of reversing Rs 350 crore fund as special assistance to Andhra Pradesh, without any intimation.
Chandrababu Naidu’s charges frivolous: BJP
The BJP dismissed the charges of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu against the Union government as “frivolous” and something which no one will believe, and cited a number of central projects in the state to underline its commitment to development there.
Soon after the Telugu Desam Party chief accused the Centre of “mud-slinging” and working to damage his credibility, the BJP fielded Union minister Prakash Javadekar to counter him.
Javadekar, accompanied by state BJP chief K Hari Babu and party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member G V L Narasimha Rao, accused Naidu of “blame game”.
The HRD minister cited a number of projects linked to IIT, Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy, IIIT and AIIMS, among others, besides the central work on the Polavaram project to claim that the Modi government’s commitment to the state’s development was firm.
He noted that party chief Amit Shah had in a letter to Naidu listed a number of projects which the Centre had granted to the state.
Asked about Naidu’s charges against the Centre, he said they were frivolous. “No one will believe them.”
He also termed Naidu’s claim that the BJP was getting close to the YSR Congress, the TDP’s main rival in the state, as “ridiculous”. (PTI)