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  Opinion   Oped  08 Apr 2018  ‘PM has hurt the sentiments of my people... I can’t allow that’

‘PM has hurt the sentiments of my people... I can’t allow that’

THE ASIAN AGE. | SREEPARNA CHAKRABARTY
Published : Apr 8, 2018, 4:50 am IST
Updated : Apr 8, 2018, 4:51 am IST

The BJP government at the Centre is indulging in mud-slinging on me since I started demanding Special Category Status, says Naidu.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu
 Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who recently quit the NDA over Special Category Status to his state, is on the warpath with the BJP-led government at the Centre. In an interview to Sreeparna Chakrabarty, he openly attacks Prime Minister Narendra Modi and states that the BJP is trying to vilify his image. He also said that the BJP government has not only failed to fulfil its promises to Andhra Pradesh, but has also not kept the promises it made to the nation.

You exited the NDA recently, do you think there was a communication gap with the Prime Minister? Do you think he has managed to fulfil promises he made to the country?
That is a broad question. There are so many problems...even the common man has not got any benefit from this government.

I was having excellent communication with the PM. They have a hidden agenda. Is it not the responsibility of the Prime Minister to fulfil his promises. What is his credibility?

You are not implementing the act. You are not implementing the assurance given by the PM. You are not implementing the promises made by him during elections.

Would you talk to other regional parties for your state’s cause?
I have started talking to all parties and floor leaders on this issue and everyone is supporting me. I will also meet leaders of other political parties and seek their support. As of now, I have only spoken to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee since she had called to express her support.

What is your next course of action?
I have to take this to a logical conclusion. We will fight, we will keep on putting pressure. We want justice. People’s sentiments are very important to me, and he (Prime Minister) has hurt the sentiments of the people.

Do you forsee the formation of a federal front?
Whenever there is a failure of the Central government on various fronts, people’s aspirations have to be fulfilled. You have to fight or take it to a logical conclusion.

Why do you think the BJP-led NDA did not accord Special Status Category to Andhra Pradesh?
The BJP wants to grow in Andhra Pradesh and that is the reason it broke the alliance with us in Telengana, without any prior announcement. It wanted to grow at the cost of Andhra Pradesh which is unacceptable to me. I don’t mind anyone growing but not by tightening our resources and not doing anything for Andhra Pradesh. The reason being if they do, my images betters in the eyes of people which they do not want. Therefore, they want to have an alliance with tainted parties and control me. That’s unethical.

What is your next course of action?
It is a continuous effort. We will keep on putting pressure. My people are thinking it is not right. Sentiments of people have always been very important to me. No one should hurt their sentiments. In every region you have to respect people’s sentiments.

You have been in Mr Vajpayee’s NDA also. Do you find any difference?
Yes, I have been in the NDA earlier as well. I had 29 MPs then, but I never asked for anything at that time. I am not hungry for power. The BJP is openly saying that it wants to grow in Andhra Pradesh. The BJP wants me to fail so that it can grow…The Centre is tightening resources to Andhra Pradesh. The BJP wants to have alliances with tainted parties and control me. I have been in politics for many years; you cannot do politics with me. I have seen NDA, UPA… I have fought UPA...
The BJP government at the Centre is indulging in mud-slinging on me since I started demanding Special Category Status. My question is when 11 other states have been given the special status, why not Andhra?

Are you open to alliance with the Congress?
I don’t want to talk on all these things at this moment. Today, my mission is to get justice for Andhra Pradesh.

Tags: chandrababu naidu, narendra modi, special category status