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Even Manmohan Singh Praised My Work, This PMO Entertains Tainted Parties: Chandrababu Naidu

Naidu said PM Modi made a statement that Andhra’s new capital will be built better than Delhi and then gave just Rs 1,500 crore as funds.

Sumit Pande, Bhupendra Chaubey

Updated:April 4, 2018, 11:45 PM IST
New Delhi: Telegu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu recently broke away from the NDA demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh. He was in Delhi this week to meet leaders from parties across political spectrum to drum up support for his demand. Sumit Pande and Bhupendra Chaubey caught up with him in the capital and sought his views on a host of issues, including formation of an alternative front against the BJP and the Centre.

Mr Naidu, recently Railway Minister Piyush Goyal made an allegation that Naidu government is unwilling to give an account of money given by the Centre.

I have a track record of 40 years during which I have run one of the most honest governments. No opponents or critics have made such allegations. Till yesterday, when I’m with you, I’m good. When I’m demanding rights for my state, you are mud-slinging.

They gave Rs 1,000 crore for underground drainage and Rs 1,500 crore for building capital (Amaravati) and we have given utilisation certificates. The PM made a statement that we are going to construct a capital which is better than Delhi. Is Rs 1,500 crore sufficient for that? I have built Hyderabad and Cyberabad, you have not built anything.

The allegation is that you are worried about your lack of popularity on the ground and that is why you are raising this issue of special category status but Jaganmohan Reddy is walking away with all the popularity.

I’m not worried about Jaganmohan Reddy or tainted parties. This government is promoting tainted political parties. Even the first accused and second accused (in the cases against Jagan Reddy) are sitting in PMO. What is the indication they are giving? This case is about a Rs 43,000 crore fraud or corruption. Around 11 chargesheets have been filed. Every Friday they have to appear before the court. And PMO is entertaining them. What is the message you are giving?

What happened between you and Mr. Modi that made the TDP leave the NDA?

You are taking support from tainted parties. You take their support I don’t mind, but you are blaming me and my state.

Do you or Mamata Banerjee want to pilot a Federal Front?

This government talked about Team India. Corporative Federalism is a reality. You are blaming state government, you are throwing mud at me? Is it corporative federalism? They may have aspirations to build their party, but they can’t damage regional leadership.

What is the role of Congress in the alternative front?

Some time in political transformation, so many things happen. I have seen National Front, United Front, UPA and NDA. I always want to do development and build the nation.

I have developed Hyderabad. After 2004, the then PM Dr Manmohan Singh when he went to USA, he said we are building cities, come and see Hyderabad. Who has done that? He took pride in what I had done. That is the pride we have created for India.

Is Congress your enemy or friend?

I don’t have any enemies or friends. In politics, we sometimes fight with people of different ideologies in different states. We used to fight Congress for the last so many years. After 2014, Congress is not relevant in Andhra. BJP never was a force.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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