‘Why are you spreading lies’: Chandrababu Naidu responds to Amit Shah’s letter
Amit Shah, in his letter to Chandrababu Naidu, said the TDP chief’s decision to quit the NDA was guided by “political considerations”, not Andhra Pradesh’s development concerns.Updated: Mar 24, 2018, 22:56 IST
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah’s letter to him was “full of false information” and termed it an insult to the people of the state.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief was responding to a letter sent by Shah earlier in the day which said Naidu’s decision to quit the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was guided by “political considerations” instead of Andhra Pradesh’s development concerns.
Speaking in the state legislative assembly, Naidu said: “Amit Shah’s letter is full of false information, which shows their attitude. Even now, the Centre is providing special benefits to North-eastern states. Had Andhra Pradesh been given the same hand-holding, many industries would have come to the state.”
Shah, in his nine-page letter, dubbed Naidu’s move to sever ties with the NDA after the Centre declined to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh, as “unfortunate and unilateral”. He also described as “untrue and baseless” the TDP chief’s allegations that the BJP was not sensitive to the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh.
On March 7, Naidu pulled out two of his ministers from the NDA government. A week later, the TDP pulled out of the BJP-led allianceover the Centre’s refusal to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh and fulfil other commitments made at the time of state’s division in 2014.
Defending his party’s decision to quit the NDA, Naidu said it was done to respect the feelings of the people, who were feeling betrayed by the Central government.
Naidu lashed out at Shah, saying the “unscientific division” of Andhra Pradesh had pushed the state back 10 years and blamed the Centre “for passing bifurcation bill within 20 minutes behind closed doors”.
“Amit Shah in his letter says the Centre gave many funds to the state, we couldn’t utilise them. They are trying to say that the Andhra Pradesh government is incapable. Our government has good GDP (growth), agriculture and many national awards. That is our capability. Why are you spreading lies?,” Naidu said on Saturday.
In the letter to Naidu, Shah had said his party was a true well-wisher of the state.
He had cited a number of development projects undertaken by the Centre for the state, besides funds given to it, as he sought to reject the charge that the Modi government had not fulfilled its promises.
“This decision is both unfortunate as well as unilateral. It is a decision, I am afraid will be construed as being guided wholly and solely by political considerations instead of development concerns. It is widely known that the Union Government has not left any stone unturned in ensuring growth and prosperity of Andhra Pradesh,” Shah said in the letter.
“You may recall that during the previous Lok Sabha and in Rajya Sabha, when your party did not have adequate representation, it was the BJP that set the agenda and ensured that justice is done to the hardworking Telugu people in both states.”
Listing five infrastructure projects the Central government has initiated in the state, Shah said “a perusal of these would reaffirm what you already know and perhaps would not admit that Central government has fulfilled its obligations and that BJP is a genuine friend add true well wisher of the state.”
The TDP has given notice for a no-confidence motion against the Modi government in the Lok Sabha, which could not be taken up due to an unending uproar in the Lower House.
“On the issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh, it is regrettable that some political parties are whipping up public sentiments rather than encouraging an informed debate which is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy. I would like you to introspect whether political parties should be pitting sentiments and development against each other to further their political agenda,” Shah told Naidu.