Vijayawada(PTI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a “campaign PM…who has failed to deliver on promises” and the BJP would “definitely” not remain in power after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Naidu said the Congress too won’t be able to form the next government on its own and stressed that regional parties have “able and capable leaders” who will play important roles after the polls.
His remarks came a few days after he shared stage with the leaders of several regional parties at the swearing-in of H D Kumaraswamy as chief minister of the Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka after a bitterly-fought election that threw up a hung verdict.
Inaugurating Mahanadu, the TDP’s annual conclave in Vijayawada, the Telugu Desam Party chief said his party has played important roles in forming governments in the past and had the power to change the narrative in the country, hinting that it could tie-up with like-minded parties to stop the BJP.
Naidu said the TDP was a key player in the formation the United Front government in 1996.
“The TDP has in the past played a key role in forming governments. It has the power to change the political narrative in the country. We won’t step back,” Naidu said.
He said Modi is a “campaign prime minister, who gives slogans only, but has failed to deliver on promises”.
“The BJP will definitely not come to power in 2019. The BJP forming government again is a distant dream,” Naidu said.
On allegations of EVM manipulation during elections, he said thorough discussions should be held on the use of “electronic voting machines to ensure fair elections”.
Naidu said the TDP withdrew support from the NDA government as the Centre had reneged on its promise to grant the special category status to Andhra Pradesh and failed to implement the AP Reorganisation Act.
He alleged that the saffron party was resorting to “revenge politics” and using institutions such as the CBI and the ED to put pressure on those who do not follow its line.
He accused the BJP of betraying the people of Andhra and trying to create law and order problems in collusion with the YSR Congress Party of Jaganmohan Reddy.
He said the BJP government had promised a special package for backward districts of Andhra on the lines of Bundelkhand region. But, Naidu alleged, the BJP cheated the people.
“The BJP government credited Rs 50 crore each for seven backward districts of AP and after some time it debited the amount. This is how it cheated the people of the state,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh has been seeking special status on the grounds that it is at a disadvantage, especially because of the loss of capital Hyderabad to newly-formed Telangana.
When the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh was being bifurcated in 2014, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: “Special category status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh for a period of five years”.
But the BJP, which came to power a few months later, said the 14th Finance Commission doesn’t provide for such treatment to Andhra Pradesh.
In March, the TDP withdrew from the NDA government over the Centre’s refusal to grant special status to the state.
Naidu and his party have in the past accused Modi of reneging on his 2014 election promise to accord special status to Andhra Pradesh.
During Mahanadu, the TDP would adopt resolutions against the economic decisions taken by the Centre “without proper thinking, their improper implementation, failure of the Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation, and about people losing faith in the banking system” Srinivasa Rao, the officer on special duty to the chief minister, said.
The party would pass a resolution against the Centre’s “non-cooperation and non-fulfillment” of assurances made in the Rajya Sabha regarding the special category status and the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, he said.
At the conclave, detailed discussions would be held on the Centre’s “betrayal and conspiracy politics”.