Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday screened, before people, videos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “expose” what he called his betrayal to the state on granting special category status.
Addressing a massive public meeting in this temple town, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President alleged that Modi failed to fulfil the promise made as the Prime Ministerial candidate of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the presence of Lord Venkateswara.
Titled “Fight against betrayal and collusion politics”, the meeting was attended by thousands of people and it also set the tone for party’s campaign for the next year’s elections.
The meeting was organised at Sri Venkateswara University Grounds, the same location from where then Prime Ministerial candidate Modi had addressed a gathering on the same day four years ago.
The TDP, which pulled out of the NDA government in March over its refusal to grant special status to the state, screened on a giant screen three different videos of Modi’s speeches.
In one video clipping, Modi is heard praising then BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was translating his speech into Telugu, for extracting the promise of special status from then UPA government. He then told the gathering that after coming to power, he will fulfil the promise.
Chandrababu Naidu also played video clipping of Modi’s speech at another election meeting, where he assured the people that after coming to power, he will build new state capital on such a scale that the national capital Delhi will look small before it.
The Chief Minister also showed to people another video of Modi’s speech which he delivered after laying foundation stone of new state capital Amaravati on October 22, 2015. At that meeting, Modi had vowed to fulfil all the commitments made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.
“Is it not betrayal,” he repeatedly asked people reminding them of the promises made by Modi during the 2014 election campaign.
Naidu said Modi had granted Rs 2,500 crore for construction of a statue in Gujarat, but released just Rs 1,500 crore for the construction of Amaravati.
He asserted that special category status to Andhra Pradesh was the legitimate right of the people, as the two national parties Congress and the BJP had, together, divided the state based on this promise.
Ruling out any compromise on the demand for special category status, he declared that the TDP will continue its fight.
Claiming that the TDP had joined NDA for the state’s interests, Naidu said his party always fought to get what was promised at the time of the state’s bifurcation in 2014.
He called upon the Telugus living in Karnataka to vote against the BJP in the next month’s state Assembly elections.
The TDP chief also lashed out at Modi government for increasing atrocities on Dalits, women and minorities.
Announcing that similar meetings will be organised in all districts, Naidu predicted that the TDP will win all 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the next elections and will decide who will be the next Prime Minister.
He also alleged that Modi was neglecting Andhra Pradesh as he found a new friend in the “corrupt” YSR Congress Party. “BJP felt that since TDP has clean image it would not dance to their tunes, whereas corrupt parties will act as per their wish,” he said.
Naidu voiced the apprehension that the central government might resort to witch-hunting. “After four years of patient wait for justice for the state, I am now prepared for anything. We are ready for any sacrifice,” he said.