Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday claimed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu only focused on his son’s rise and not the development of the state. He was speaking at a public rally in Guntur.

“He [N Chandrababu Naidu] said he would be the sunrise chief minister,” Modi said, according to NDTV. “But he seems interested in raising [the] profile of his son. He told me he would turn around the infrastructure of Andhra Pradesh. But he himself took a U-turn.”

This is Modi’s first visit to the state since the Telugu Desam Party quit the National Democratic Alliance in March 2018 over the Centre’s failure to grant Andhra Pradesh special category status.

“Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu is spending all his time in Modi bashing and not focussing on the state, he added. “Naidu is scared of losing elections. He is trying to impose his son on Andhra people.” Modi also dedicated two petroleum and gas projects to the nation at the rally.

Modi also criticised the chief minister for allying with the Congress, and said it was a betrayal of Rao’s father-in-law and founder of the Telugu Desam Party, NT Rama Rao. “Chandrababu Naidu said he would follow NTR’s foot steps,” Modi said. “Is he following him by embracing Congress? NTR fought for mukt-Congress [free of Congress], but Naidu is paying grand old party obeisance. Mukt Congress has now become dost Congress [friend of Congress] for Naidu.”

Modi also claimed that the Chandrababu Naidu was always intent on pointing out that he is his senior. But, Naidu is a senior in “defections, back-stabbing and architecting opportunistic alliances”, Modi said. “You [Naidu] are a senior in praising someone at one time and despising them the next moment.”

Naidu, who had assured new projects for the poor, has only replicated the NDA government’s programmes, the prime minister added, according to PTI.

‘Modi go back’

Protests had been organised in several parts of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday against Modi’s visit to Guntur on Sunday. Workers of the ruling Telugu Desam Party, the Congress, Left parties, student groups and organisations that favour special category status for Andhra Pradesh organised demonstrations in 13 districts.

The protestors had chanted “Modi go back!” and carried black flags and staged sit-in protests in many places. Posters had come up across Guntur city with the slogan “Modi go back” and “Modi no entry”.

In a teleconference with party workers on Saturday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had called Modi’s visit a “black day” for the people of the state, and asked the cadre to protest against the visit. “If he sets his foot in our home state, our soil will become unholy as he is a betrayer, belying his own assurances given to our bifurcated state such as special category status,” Naidu had claimed.