Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu hit out at former ally Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday, alleging that the party no longer upholds the values of its veteran leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, PTI reported.
Referring to Advani’s blog post from Thursday, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister said, “Advani’s remarks in the blog reflected his anguish. For him, country came first, party second and self last. It’s reverse in the case of Modi.” Naidu had pulled his party out of the BJP-led alliance in March 2018.
Naidu made the remarks during a sit-in protest at Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada against income tax and police raids on some his party members over the last week, PTI reported. “It’s a fascist regime. Unrest, insecurity and fear have gripped all sections,” the TDP chief said.
Advani had written a lengthy note reflecting on his party’s present and future ahead of the anniversary of its founding on Saturday. He said his party has never regarded those who disagree with it politically as “anti-national”. He also emphasised the party’s democratic ideals.
The comments came in the wake of recent remarks by senior BJP leaders describing the Congress’ manifesto for the elections as “anti-national”. Modi too has repeatedly attacked Opposition parties in his rallies, claiming they were making Pakistan happy by demanding proof of the Indian Air Force’s strikes on Pakistan’s Balakot in February. He has also labelled the Opposition the “poster boys of Pakistan”, and claimed that it speaks the language of terrorists.
Naidu said the income tax department was following the “diktat of the ruling party”, according to PTI. He also alleged a conspiracy by the BJP and his political opponents, the YSR Congress Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. “You will pay a heavy price if you continue with such acts,” he said. “They [the raids] are intended to demoralise our leaders.”
He also warned tax officials of “serious consequences”, said ANI.
Earlier in the day, local police had raided properties of TDP MP CM Ramesh in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district. Ramesh claimed to the media that a team had come to his house around 6 am, but had not seized anything, The News Minute reported. He also alleged that the raids were politically motivated as elections are approaching.
On Wednesday, the tax department raided the home of TDP leader Putta Sudhakar Yadav, who is the party’s candidate from Mydukur seat.
The TDP has filed a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer about the raids, reported The Hindu, alleging that this was being done in view of the elections and was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
Andhra Pradesh will vote simultaneously for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections on April 11, the first of seven phases of the General Elections that go on till May 19.