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Special Status Eludes AP Despite '42 Trips' to Delhi, But Chandrababu Naidu Sees No Threat From Jagan

File photo of Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu. (Reuters)

File photo of Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu. (Reuters)

Chandrababu Naidu may have big plans for Amaravati, but his troubles are not just limited to opponents like Jagan. Within his own party, he faces criticism for not being able to seek higher assistance from the central government for the youngest state.

New Delhi: Jagan Mohan Reddy may have reached out to the NDA for 2019, when Andhra Pradesh is due to elect a new Assembly along with general elections, but Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu doesn’t seem too worried.

“Jaganmohan Reddy is nothing more than an immature man. People see him as a notorious criminal and a fraudster. No one in Andhra Pradesh believes him,” Naidu told News18.com, hours before leaving for Davos to attend World Economic Forum meet along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Naidu said he hopes to attract global investors for the Amravati project.

“Elections are only a part of the democratic process. Our government has implemented very good welfare programs which are paying good dividends… If you do good things, people will vote for you,” he added.

However, Naidu rued that Andhra lost Hyderabad to Telangana during bifurcation three-and-a-half years ago. “By no mistake of ours, we lost everything during bifurcation.”

Naidu may have big plans for Amaravati, but his troubles are not just limited to opponents like Jagan. Within his own party, he faces criticism for not being able to seek higher assistance from the central government for the youngest state.

According to a senior TDP leader, Naidu has visited New Delhi 42 times over the past three years, but Modi government has not granted ‘special’ status to the state. “What’s the point of being under BJP’s shadow when they don’t even help us? Worst, local BJP leaders have been campaigning against us, even though we are told to follow the spirit of alliance,” he said on request of anonymity.

YSR Congress's Jagan has also demanded special status for the state, and on Monday said he is ready to partner with the NDA if Prime Minister Narendra Modi approves it.

When asked, CM Naidu said, “I met the Prime Minister recently… he assured me that he will do everything possible for the state. I am constantly pursuing things with the central government and seeking their support. Not only Amaravati, the PM said all promises made under bifurcation Act will be fulfilled… that’s his commitment.”

When asked about BJP’s expansion plans in AP, Naidu said the alliance was strong and some local BJP leaders’ aspirations should not be mistaken otherwise. “Opposition grows whenever there is a vacuum. There is no vacuum in Andhra Pradesh. We are a trusted ally of the BJP and we are working together. There may be some aspirations of local BJP leaders but ultimately I am confident everything will go as expected,” he said.