Andhra Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is facing a backlash after a controversial statement, where he told TDP leaders on Thursday to imply that citizens must vote for his party, as they were enjoying the benefits extended by his government.
"You are taking the pension I am giving, using roads we have built, taking rations that we give, benefiting from our schemes, then why should you not support us politically?" he was quoted as saying.
Naidu was addressing party men and locals at Nandyala, in Kurnool district.
Other media reports quoted him as saying, "It is your responsibility to educate the people about all the schemes and benefits we are providing and ensuring that people are with us and vote for us. If people don’t like TDP or the TDP Government then tell them not to use the roads or take pensions. While taking all the benefits if they still do not want to vote for us, ask them why. I wont hesitate to ignore the villages which don’t vote for us."
After the event, Naidu also asked locals, “Why do you still crave for the money distributed by corrupt political leaders and vote for their parties? How can a 500 or 1,000 rupee note given by them change your fortune?”
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In May, during the TDP's annual conclave, PTI quoted Naidu as saying, "People want welfare, development and corruption-free governance. We are working in that direction only...Whoever doesn't vote for TDP should feel ashamed."
The Nandyal Assembly constituency, a stronghold of the YSRCP, is witnessing a void after the death of its sitting legislator Bhuma Nagi Reddy, in March this year.
The MLA suffered a cardiac arrest at his house in Allagadda in Kurnool district and passed away in a hospital in Nandyal.
After winning on a YSRCP ticket along with his daughter Bhuma Akhila Priya, the MLA had defected to the TDP in February last year.
After Nagi Reddy's death, Akhila Priya. who is the MLA from Allagadda, was inducted into the state cabinet as the Tourism Minister.
The TDP has also announced Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, Akhila Priya's cousin, as its nominee for the Nandyal byelection.
“The Chief Minister himself announced Brahmananda Reddy’s name. No other name came up for consideration,” Deputy Chief Minister KE Krishnamurthy had said earlier.
However, the YSRCP is demanding that the TDP should 'leave the seat alone', and facilitate the unanimous election of their candidate, as Nagi Reddy was elected as an MLA from their party in 2014.