There may be some political and ideological compulsions among opposition parties but the consensus is to defeat Narendra Modi government, and “anybody can be a better Prime Minister than him”, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said.
Speaking to IANS after a grand rally here, Naidu said he is in politics for the last 40 years and has worked with the National Front, United Front, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
“Always there are some ideological compulsions. People are working. Now, there is a democratic compulsion also added to this. Narendra Modi is misusing all constitutional entities. It may be CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), ED (Enforcement Directorate), Income Tax and RBI (Reserve Bank of India).
“He is killing and destroying the leadership either it is the political leadership, corporate leadership or media leadership. That is why India is not progressing. We are slipping economically. We are slipping on employment. Agriculture is in distress. If you see all Prime Ministers earlier in the coalition, single largest or minority government, they have done better than him,” Naidu said.
Asked about the opposition’s Prime Ministerial candidate in the backdrop of differences among them, Naidu said: “They (BJP leaders) are saying consciously who is alternative of Narendra Modi. But, anybody is an alternative, better alternative compared to Narendra Modi.”
Accusing Modi of running a single-man show, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief said he (Modi) is doing all negative things for the country.
“Now, the country is bleeding, you are enjoying. You don’t have any ethics, any values. One should be magnanimous. Prime Minister should be a statesman, not a narrow-minded politician. That is where we are all different with him. Even after the election, nobody likes Narendra Modi. There will be 100 per cent change.”
Replying to Prime Minister’s ‘U-turn’ politician remark against him in a public rally, Naidu asked: “Who has taken a ‘U-turn’? You (Narendra Modi) have taken ‘U-turn’, not me. I am straight turned right turn.”
Naidu said that Modi betrayed Andhra Pradesh and him by not fulfilling his promise to give the special status category to the state after bifurcation act provisions will implement.
The Chief Minister said that the Prime Minister had made the promise in Tirupati. “We will treat Andhra Pradesh a special state because of bifurcation. What has he given to me? Four years I waited. I visited 29 times to him and also all ministers.
“They ditched me. They have done injustice to Andhra Pradesh. It is very unfortunate for him to talk like that. He has taken ‘U-turn’, not me,” Naidu said.
Alerting Modi that he is not a “permanent” Prime Minister of the country, The TDP chief said, “what you (Modi) have told, what you have promised, what you have done, that is very important for the state”.
So, naturally, Naidu said, I differed and fought with him (Modi). “We have moved no-confidence motions. We want to achieve a special status. That is our commitment. You cannot cheat people of Andhra Pradesh any more in a long manner.”
Asked about his call for “Modi Hatao” in a public rally attended by his counterparts Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal and Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi, he said once people are decided, it doesn’t matter leaders.
“Those who will perform. Different state, different political parties who will fight against Modi or BJP they will vote. I have seen earlier also. There is a uniform wave across the country. From Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari same trend is continuing,” Naidu said.
Reiterating that there may be some political compulsions, Naidu said people are fighting.
But, the senior leader said, the people will prefer those who will defeat the BJP. “Last time, BJP lost in all four assembly elections. People never bother. They never thought Narendra Modi has to be there. What it indicates?.”
“For the last five years, any by-election they have won? On some places Samajwadi Party and BSP and other the TDP, the Trinamool Congress have won. Where is the local stand for them in south India? They are the hatred party today.”
Naidu accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government of using 290 helicopters.
“Nobody is having any helicopter. They are saying don’t give to anybody except BJP. Is it right? We never witnessed this kind of politics in India. This is the reality, everybody has to understand this,” he said.
Asked do you think that you will be able to form the government without Congress because Rahul compares Mamata Banerjee with Modi and she says he is just against, Naidu again said there may be some political compulsions.
In 2004 elections, he said, Communist party and Congress fought against each other in three states and ultimately they supported Congress at the national level.
“In 1995, we all fought against Congress. P.V. Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister that time. Often that we formed the government at the Centre by taking Congress support from outside. So this is the reality,” Naidu added.
On BJP president Amit Shah accusing him of doing “delusional politic”, he said: “Who is Amit Shah? I do not want to say but please tell me where he was before 2014. Now he is a very strong and great man. Please go through his past history. What else do you expect him to say? What else can one expect from people like Amit Shah and Jagan Mohan Reddy (YSR Congress chief)?.”
Jagan has 31 cases, 24 times he came to the Assembly and 240 times he went to court, said Naidu.