The Andhra BJP has accused Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu of putting undue pressure on Telugus living in Karnataka by trying to dissuade them from voting against the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections.
Although the Chief Minister has not made any appeal to his party leaders to campaign against the BJP for betraying the Telugus by not according Special Category Status (SCS), anticipating such a move from Naidu, the BJP has cautioned him against it.
BJP floor leader P Vishnukumar Raju addressing a press conference on Tuesday said, “It is causing embarrassment to the Telugus. They are living outside the State and are naturally reluctant to openly identify with any party from the State. This will be a bad precedent and put the Telugus outside in an irksome position,’’ The Hans India quoted him as saying.
He also said that the CM had never assured about the SCS to Andhra in his Tirupati meeting before the 2014 elections.
The speculation that the TDP might campaign against its former ally BJP comes after the Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh KE Krishna Murthy recently held a press conference in Bengaluru and asked the people to vote against the BJP.
He said that the Telugu people settled in the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu should vote against the BJP for denying SCS to Andhra Pradesh and also accused the Prime Minister of ‘cheating’.
Besides a sizeable chunk of techies, businessman and labourers in Bengaluru who hail from Andhra Pradesh, districts of Raichur and Ballari in north Karnataka and other constituencies like Tumakuru, Kolar and Bidar, also have many Telugu voters whose vote could dent the fortunes of the BJP.
The election campaign has already kick-started in Karnataka, with the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi trading barbs against each other.
The voting will be held on May 12 and the counting of votes is on May 15.