Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday denied accusations by his Telangana counterpart K. Chandrashekar Rao and his party that he had tried to stop projects in the poll-bound state.
“I even suggested that we sit and discuss things," Naidu said after campaigning ended on Wednesday at a press conference that was also addressed by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other leaders of the opposition.
“We are going to make Telangana the number one state in the country," the TDP chief said.
Gandhi said that there is an agrarian crisis in several parts of the country and asked why the centre is not waiving farm loans across India. “(Prime Minister) Narendra Modi has forgiven ₹ 3.5 trillion worth debts of (industrialist) Anil Ambani and his friends, so why can’t he forgive debts of farmers?" he asked.
The Congress president said his party will help farmers in Telangana and across the country by setting up processing units in rural areas. “We also want to provide jobs for the youth and protect our farmers. The farm crisis is not just in the state, but across India. Farmers need to be treated with respect," Gandhi said.
In the forthcoming polls, the Congress has formed an alliance with the TDP, the Communist Party of India, and the Telangana Jana Samithi to take on the Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in assembly elections on 7 December.
When asked about the chief ministerial candidate, Gandhi said that the main aim of the alliance is to remove Rao from the chief minister’s post. Both he and Naidu alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led centre is misusing governmental institutions.
Gandhi also attacked caretaker chief minister Rao for “betraying" the newly formed state.
“Dreams have not been fulfilled in the state, though there is an ecosystem (for growth). Everybody should vote for the praja kutami (people’s alliance, as it is known)," Naidu appealed.
Elections in the state were advanced when then chief minister Rao had dissolved the 119-member assembly on 6 September, citing “political fragility".
The TRS had nearly 90 members of legislative assembly (MLAs), as a result of the many defections from opposition parties after the party won 63 seats in the 2014 assembly elections.