Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday claimed that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu has neglected citizens of his state and focused instead on his son.
“The chief minister is so fixated with the rise of his own son, he does not realise how his policies and corruption can lead to the sunset of the state,” Modi said during an interaction via video-conferencing with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s booth-level workers in Andhra Pradesh. “To set [up] the son, he’s creating an atmosphere for the sunset of the state.”
Modi said that former chief minister NT Rama Rao had set up the anti-Congress National Front and led the “Congress-mukt Bharat” campaign. “Today, his own son-in-law [Naidu] has bent his head before the Congress to save his power,” Modi said. Naidu has been in the forefront of attempting to form a grand alliance to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Invoking Rao, Modi referred to him as the “true icon” of Telugu pride. “NTR never forgave Congress for hurting Telugu pride and its betrayal of Telugu interests,” said the prime minister. “Today those in power in Andhra Pradesh are so desperate to save his power that they betrayed Telugu interests and stabbed NTR in the back, for the second time.”
Accusing Naidu of working only for his family and neglecting the state, Modi said a successful state could only be created by the youth power of all citizens. Criticising the Telugu Desam Party government, he asked how Telugu pride could be served by one family holding on to power.
“How is Telugu pride served by daydreaming about becoming prime minister when you have failed as a CM?” Modi asked. “Telugu pride can only be restored when you have respect for all the people of the state, just like NTR did. It can only be restored when you put the interests of Andhra Pradesh above your own political interests and lust for power.”
Modi said that Rao’s dream of an equal Andhra Pradesh would only be realised “when every citizen of the state enjoys the fruits of development, and not just one family”.
Last week, Naidu said that Modi had betrayed Andhra Pradesh and had reneged on his commitments to the state after the bifurcation.