Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu came down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that it tried to “buy MLAs like animals in a market" post the Karnataka election results, where the BJP emerged as the single largest party but could not form the government.
Naidu also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked why the government has not been able to prevent scams.
“The prime minister said every Indian would get Rs15 lakh in his account after black money is brought back. Forget that, they are not even able to stop people taking our money and escaping abroad," said Naidu, referring to businessman Nirav Modi, who has been booked for cheating Punjab National Bank recently.
There is a sense of fear among minorities today in the country, Naidu told MPs, MLAs, other leaders and workers of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on the third day of the organisation’s ‘Mahanadu’ or plenary in Vijayawada on Tuesday.
“The Telugu Desam Party has always been secular. When I was the chief minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh, I ensured that not a single riot took place," he said.
Naidu also asked why the Centre is not taking action against main opposition YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who is facing trial in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court for owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. “Why is the government not seizing his properties?" asked Naidu.
During the beginning of Tuesday’s session, old video clips of the prime minister promising special status among other things to Andhra Pradesh were played. These were subsequently lampooned by TDP leaders during the plenary. The TDP claimed that injustice was done to Andhra Pradesh in terms of funding in Union Budget 2018. Naidu said that though utilisation certificates (UC) were given to the Centre, the BJP claimed otherwise.
“Who is Amit Shah to ask us about UCs? I have been in politics for about four decades and there has never been a single allegation of corruption on me. I am the one who got legislators to reveal their assets to the public," Naidu claimed. He also blamed the Congress for putting Andhra Pradesh in its present situation, as a result of “dividing the state".
Naidu also said the TDP had decided to support the Janata Party-led Centre when V. P. Singh was prime minister without asking for any posts. “We put the country’s interest before ours," he mentioned.