Andhra Pradesh (AP) chief minister and Telugu Desam Party supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday said that prime minister Narendra Modi did not convene even one meeting to sort out issues between AP and Telangana after the two Telugu states were bifurcated in 2014. Naidu was responding to Modi’s statement during a public meeting in Bihar, in which the latter said that AP and Telangana cannot see eye-to-eye, and blamed the Congress for it.
Addressing a press conference at Undavalli (near Vijayawada), Naidu alleged that the Centre had even taken away Rs.350 crore after it gave the same for backward areas in AP. “The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) itself was part of passing the (bifurcation) bill. So aren’t you (Modi) the reason today that both states have sat and talked? Did you (Modi) conduct a meeting between both states?" the AP chief minister questioned, and slammed Modi for bringing up the issue of bifurcation.
Naidu also claimed that he has made 29 trips to New Delhi in the past with regard to AP’s budget. “We asked for our right, and that is why we are demanding for special category status today. You can’t come here and talk about AP without doing anything for the state," he stated, and censured Modi for asking the public rhetorically (during an election meeting) if they want a “scheme Andhra" or a “scam Andhra".
In the run up to the Lok Sabha (and assembly) polls in AP, Modi had attacked Naidu, calling him a “u-turn babu", among other things and also alleged that the latter is corrupt. Attacking the prime minister, Naidu stated that the BJP is misusing government institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate (ED), etc.
“We gave the (CBI) consent in good faith, but it has lost credibility," Naidu added, referring to the AP government withdrawing its general consent to the CBI operating in the state (earlier this year). The Ap chief minister also questioned the functioning of the Election Commission of India (ECI), which he has been censuring ever since polling day (11 April) in AP, after reported cases of malfunctioning of electronic voting machines were reported.
Naidu in fact is among one of the opposition parties which are demanding that 50% of the votes in EVMs be matched with the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT). “Has there ever been so many allegations against the ECI? The prime minister is responsible , which us why we are all (opposition parties) coming together," stated the TDP supremo.