Blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for economic stagnation and social unrest in the country, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday said that anybody as Prime Minister will be better than Modi.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief, who is trying to form a front of anti-BJP parties, alleged that Modi's "negative attitude" created problems both on economic and social fronts. "There is no development, no freedom and no happiness under Modi," said Naidu while interacting with a select group of journalists in Hyderabad.
Naidu, whose party pulled out of BJP-led NDA in March, recalled that as a party supporting the Vajpayee government, he was the first to demand the resignation of Modi as the Gujarat Chief Minister in the wake of post-Godhra riots.
"All these things may have been on Modi's mind but I thought he has changed. In fact everybody thought he is a changed man and that's how BJP got absolute majority in 2014 but he misused it," said Naidu.
The TDP chief said Modi not only failed to fulfill the commitments made to Andhra Pradesh but also used central agencies like CBI, ED and Income Tax to target political rivals.
He said that despite an absolute legislative majority of the Modi government, there was no growth rate and claimed that even the coalition governments in the past did extremely well.
"Nobody is able to even telephone freely. I never faced this problem in my lifetime," said Naidu, who alleged that nobody in the media, among politicians and even corporate sector raised voice against such suppression.
Naidu said as a senior politician and someone who worked with the National Front and United Front, he decided to stand up and bring all the non-BJP parties together to "save the country and democracy".
Naidu said that while for 37 years TDP fought against the Congress, their differences were political and not ideological.
"We had ideological difference with the BJP from the beginning but we used to adjust politically. However, we never compromised on ideology."
Naidu said that without the Congress party, it was not possible to have any front at the national level. "They are the anchor."
"Today we don't have democratic compulsions. The democratic institutions are under threat. All the parties have to decide where they stand."
The TDP chief said that the December 10 meeting of non-BJP parties would discuss the future course of action.
Naidu said he was in touch with Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati. He hoped that Mayawati would take a decision after the ongoing Assembly elections in five states.
Naidu did not confirm or deny if he was in touch with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
While reiterating that he is not in the race for Prime Ministership, Naidu said the Prime Minister candidate could be decided after the elections. "We have many leaders who are efficient and able administrators."
"You are trying to create confusion," Naidu said when a reporter asked if the Prime Minister will be from Congress party or a regional party.
Naidu claimed that an anti-Modi and anti-Amit Shah wave was building up and predicted that the BJP-led NDA will lose the 2019 general elections.