Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday lashed out at the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that 'democracy was under threat' in the country.
Speaking to reporters at the Press Club of India, Naidu said, "Today I came here to inform the nation what is happening in this country with this central government, especially in Andhra Pradesh particularly. In 2014, the BJP before elections had promised a vibrant democracy and strong and healthy competition among states. They also promised 'Ache Din.'"
"Today if you see, when are we going to get Ache Din? Election year has come and what has the present government been doing? Whenever there is elections, 2-3 months in advance, entire machinery focuses only on that but it is evident that they destroyed all systems and misused their power to the core," he added.
Naidu spoke on an array of issues from demonetisation to Cyclone Titli, to the recent attack on YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy at the Visakhapatnam Airport earlier this week.
Speaking about demonetisation, Naidu said, "They promised to bring back black money. Where is that money? What happened to it? At least, did they even sincerely make an attempt? Even though I supported demonetisation, I gave them a report and told them clearly that we can control corruption only if digital currency is cost effective compared to physical currency. Against that advice, they brought Rs 2,000 and new Rs 500 notes. Because of this, money distribution in elections and indulging in corrupt practices is easy now."
"Because of demonetisation, every citizen of this country suffered. Today, it is considered a futile exercise with no result," he emphasised.
Speaking about the TDP's earlier alliance with the NDA, the Andhra CM said, "We had an alliance. There was a breach of trust and they never fulfilled all the promises made in the Bifurcation Act even though I repeatedly insisted. Twenty-nine times I came to Delhi, Nothing was done. There was a deliberate attempt to damage TDP. Is it ethical? Even then I waited for the state, but they never supported our cause. Ultimately, in the interest of the public, we opposed them, our ministers resigned and we moved the no confidence motion."
Pointing out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had indirectly hinted that Naidu was 'immature' while speaking on the floor of the House during the debate on the motion, the TDP chief said, "I don't have maturity? What does that mean? You became CM in 2001 and I became CM in 1995. I implemented second generation economic reforms in my state. In Andhra, we implemented reforms with a vision and today that is Hyderabad. I can say proudly, Hyderabad is a knowledge economy with one of the best infrastructures."
Speaking about bifurcation issues, Naidu said, "The PM should have called meetings between Telangana and Andhra and sorted it out. Instead, he is creating problem among states."
He also accused the Centre of "working against Andhra" citing one example, where they "released Rs 350 crore for seven backward districts but later took back the money from the state's treasury."
"None of our demands have been fulfilled. Nothing has been done. This is the discrimination that government of India is indulging in, against a state which has been newly formed," Naidu said.
Speaking about Cyclone Titli and the damage in Srikakulam District, Naidu said that the Centre was yet to disburse funds to help the state despite his repeated requests.
When asked about the attack on Jagan, Naidu said, "Airport security is under the CISF. It has happened inside the airport. After sometime, they handed him over to the police with a 10-page letter and our people took him into custody and we are investigating it. However, BJP leaders in the state began accusing the TDP, not even understanding that it is Central forces who are responsible and it is a security lapse on their part."
Naidu also had harsh words for Governor ESL Narasimhan, who reportedly called the DGP following the attack on Jagan.
"He immediately called my DGP and questioned him. Governors are interfering in administration. I have been CM for 14 years. We have said in the past also, that we should abolish Governor's post because they are working agents for central government. That is not good."
"With the attack on Jagan, the Centre wanted to destablise the Andhra government. Is it right? This incident happened in the airport and is a failure of the Centre. You have to review it and not me. Ultimately, truth will prevail," Naidu said.
Emphasising the importance of cooperative federalism, Naidu asked, "What is the role of Centre in the state? State government are sovereign governments. I'm here to tell the truth to the nation that the Centre has to correct themselves. Democracy is in danger and secularism is under threat. It is my responsibility to tell the nation what is happening in this country. I don't indulge in petty politics."
Had a gud meeting wid Sh Chandrababu Naidu ji. Sh Sharad Yadav ji was also present for a while. Discussed national issues. Present BJP govt is a threat to the nation n to the Constitution. People across India will need to join hands to save India n the Constitution pic.twitter.com/9nyEmI24oHâ€” Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 27, 2018
Earlier in the day, Naidu had met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) chief Sharad Yadav to discuss â€˜national issues.'