Never Considered Andhra CM Jagan As A Potential Ally: PM Narendra Modi

Mumbai: PM Narendra Modi has said that he doesn’t believe the present YSRCP-led government in Andhra Pradesh will be voted back to power.  PM Modi stated that Jagan’s YSRCP government, which is now in power in the state, would not be reelected in the state polls in an interview with the Telugu news station NTV.  

With its NDA allies, the actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan’s JanaSena Party and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), led by Chandrababu Naidu, the BJP is running in both the state’s assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that he has never thought of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy as a “ally,” forecasting a resounding victory for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Andhra Pradesh. In an interview with Telugu news channel NTV, Prime Minister Modi predicted that Jagan’s YSRCP government, which is now in power in the state, will not be reelected in the state elections.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), led by Chandrababu Naidu, and the JanaSena Party, which is led by actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan, are the BJP’s allies in the state’s assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

“I don’t think Andhra Pradesh’s current administration will be reelected. Right now, the state’s economy is in terrible shape. Jagan was never seen as a possible ally. But in Parliament, their (the YSRCP’s) members did back us on a few matters, PM Modi said.  

When the Government of National Capital Territory (Amendment) Bill came up for vote in the Upper House of Parliament, YSRCP members in the Rajya Sabha had voted in favor of it. The NDA, led by the BJP, submitted draft legislation on the distribution of administrative functions in the nation’s capital.

“We participated in elections as opponents even earlier. We have consistently remained on opposing sides of the political spectrum and have never entered polls as allies. As a constitutional officer, my job is to strengthen every state, no matter who is in office. I am committed as much to the development of Andhra Pradesh as I am to other states. This is my constitutional duty,” PM Modi added.

“The BJP and TDP are fighting the ongoing elections as partners in the NDA,” Prime Minister Modi said, expressing confidence in the BJP-led NDA to take home the majority of the electoral prizes in the state. This time, the JanaSena is also with us. I am confident that the NDA will not only get the majority of Lok Sabha seats here but also take over as the next government in Andhra Pradesh, based on the participation and enthusiasm of the public at our rallies and roadshows.”

Giving further details on why he believes the NDA will win big in the nearby Telangana state, which is run by the Congress, he continued, saying, “I see the same green shoots for the BJP in Telagana as I did in Gujarat back in 2018-19.” I also see a clear victory for us (in Telangana) this time around based on the vibes we have been receiving from voters on the campaign trail.”  

As he continued, PM Modi emphasized the significance of bringing along like-minded regional allies, saying, “I believe that as national parties, we should respect and address the aspirations of regional parties as well.”

“It is considerably simpler for us to work toward achieving regional parties’ goals when they support us. In places like Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, we require additional partners to collaborate with us. No matter how big we get, we’ll always be there to support our regional partners and help them realize their dreams,” he continued.  

Prime Minister Modi made a jab at the Congress, which is in power in Telangana, claiming that the party has never been the people’s “first choice” when choosing a government.

“Just a few months ago, the Congress took control of the state with a sizable majority and a clear mandate. But this government has been a complete failure. It seems to me that a great deal of suppressed popular resentment towards the BRS (Bharat Rashtra Samithi) resulted in votes going to the Congress. The people of Telangana may not have chosen the Congress first.”

Declaring that neither of the current Andhra Pradesh nor Telangana governments has a clear plan or vision for the development of these states, Prime Minister Modi compared these two administrations to the BJP-ruled state of Chhattisgarh. When we got the opportunity to assist the people of Chhattisgarh, the state had just split off from Madhya Pradesh. Our government made an effort to give Chhattisgarh a new look and orientation. The state’s economy is thriving right now. Today, the state is home to a vibrant economy. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana also had similar opportunities to expand and progress but the leaders (in the ruling parties) either kept fighting among themselves or picking fights with the central government.”

PM Modi stated, “More needs to be done to speed up the development of advanced infrastructure (in these states).” He shared his vision for these states, which includes the development of public infrastructure while marking simultaneous strides in agriculture and urbanization and ensuring social justice. The growth of agriculture in rural areas should also be prioritized concurrently.”  

Urbanization is unavoidable in this day and age, and the state’s five to seven largest cities ought to be built with contemporary amenities to match those of other cities. Hyderabad ought to grow into a worldwide metropolis. PM Modi continued, “It is not just a capital city; it has a global image to protect and advance.”  

“I also believe that social justice is equally important. The Madiga community has been tortured for so long. I have said openly that I stand with the Madiga people. I will also work towards protecting the rights of the Scheduled Castes in the state,” he said.

Voting for all 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana will take place on May 13, in the fourth phase of the general elections while elections to the 175-member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh are also scheduled to be held on the same day.

As part of a seat-sharing deal reached between the NDA partners, the TDP will contest 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra while the BJP will put up candidates in 6 Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly constituencies. The JanaSena will contest two Lok Sabha and 21 Assembly seats.

The counting of votes for all phases is scheduled for June 4.

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