TDP protests as PM Modi begins BJP’s campaign in Andhra
Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu ignored protocol and did not show up to receive PM modi at Gannavaram airport.Updated: Feb 10, 2019 11:59 IST
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to Guntur to launch the BJP’s election campaign in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) workers tore flex boards with the PM’s photographs even as governor ESL Narasimhan arrived at Gannavaram to receive Modi.
Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu threw protocol out of the window and didn’t show up to receive PM Modi at Gannavaram airport in Vijaywada, underlying that there is no love lost between the BJP and the TDP.
TDP supporters were ready with thousands of black balloons to greet Modi after Naidu urged party workers to register their protest against the PM’s visit by staging black flag demonstrations.
“It’s a black day for Andhra people. If he (Narendra Modi) sets his foot in our home state, our soils will become unholy as he is a betrayer, belying his own assurances given to our bifurcated state such as special category status,” Naidu said in a teleconference with party workers on Saturday.
Naidu pulled the TDP out of the NDA last March over the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh has 25 Lok Sabha seats. The TDP won 15 seats in the 2014 general elections in alliance with the BJP which won two of the four seats it contested. The YSR Congress won eight seats.
TDP workers with flowers in their ears staged a unique protest depicting Modi as someone who could not be trusted TDP, Congress and Left parties put up a united show with the supporters displaying “Modi go back” banners and boards. Left parties took out protest rallies wearing black badges and carried empty pots indicating that the PM’s promises are empty.
Congress state president N. Raghuveera Reddy described the Modi’s visit as black day for Andhra Pradesh.
But YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy stayed away from protests and instead blamed chief minister Naidu for failing to get special category status for the state. Jana Sena’s Pawan Kalyan was also silent on the anti-Modi protests.
The Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP has accused the TDP government of trying to sabotage Modi’s rally by putting up several hurdles including forcing private transporters and college managements to refuse to provide vehicles for transporting people for the rally.
The TDP insists that the government gave permission for the BJP rally in Guntur and there was no basis for the BJP’s charges of creating hurdles for PM’s rally.