Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah for blaming the Telugu Desam Party for leaving the National Democratic Alliance, saying the decision was solely for state’s interests and not guided by any “political considerations.”
Rebutting Shah’s charge in this regard, Naidu described the nine-page letter the BJP chief wrote to him as “pack of lies.”
The letter was in response to the four-page missive Naidu sent on March 16 explaining the reasons for TDP quitting the BJP-led NDA.
Raising the issue in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, Naidu said, “What Shah wrote is a pack of lies and half-truths. It is not only insulting but also provoking the people of AP. It lacked any dignity.”
The language used in the letter was “unbecoming of a national party president,” the chief minister said.
“Is there dignity in it? The letter is full of discrepancies and mistakes. Except for finding fault with me, the letter did not address the issues concerning AP,” the TDP supremo noted.
He asked the Narendra Modi government if it had the guts to review the implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 and place the facts before Parliament.
Naidu also asked if the Gujarat government, when Narendra Modi was chief minister for 10-12 years, used pictures of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi for central schemes.
“Do they have the guts to say this? Can they show such pictures,” he asked, referring to criticism that the state government was not giving credit to the Centre over the union government’s schemes.
“We waited patiently for four years for justice to the state. We remained a loyal friend (of the NDA) but snapped ties only when it did not honour any of the promises,” Naidu said.
The chief minister also refuted Shah’s observation that the TDP’s decision to quit the “NDA family” was unilateral and guided “wholly and solely” by political considerations instead of developmental concerns.
“There are no political considerations except the state’s interests. Our decision was in tune with the people’s sentiments. The TDP is a progressive party,” Naidu added.
He also countered Shah’s claim saying it was the BJP that unilaterally broke the alliance with TDP in Telangana.
“We did not say anything about that,” he pointed out.
Claiming that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee always “respected” him, Naidu said the TDP never hankered for posts.
“Vajpayee offered 6-7 Cabinet berths (during the NDA regime from 1999) but we did not take,” he said.
“We have taken two berths offered by Modi but did not ask for any specific portfolio. We have not lobbied for any other posts. We did not even seek a Governor’s post,” the TDP chief claimed.
The TDP quit the BJP-led NDA over the refusal to accord special category status for Andhra Pradesh and fulfil other commitments made at the time of the state’s division in 2014.
The party has also given notice for a no-confidence motion against the Modi government in the Lok Sabha, which could not be taken up due to an unending uproar in the Lower House.