‘BJP can’t digest regional leaders’: N Chandrababu Naidu flays Modi government, says cooperative federalism ‘not happening’

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Updated: April 5, 2018 2:25:59 PM

Calling for a coalition for the regional parties to counter the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Naidu has said that PM Narendra Modi's party doesn't like regional players and that its policy of cooperative federalism was “not happening” on the ground.

Chandrababu Naidu has said that PM Narendra Modi’s party doesn’t like regional players and that its policy of cooperative federalism was “not happening” on the ground.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has accused Bharatiya Janata Party of not following the principles of cooperative federalism. Calling for a coalition for the regional parties to counter the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Naidu has said that PM Narendra Modi’s party doesn’t like regional players and that its policy of cooperative federalism was “not happening” on the ground. Naidu, the chief of Telugu Desham Party, made his comments in an exclusive conversation with The Indian Express.

Asked whether he would anchor the cause of bringing together the Opposition parties, Naidu contended that everyone has to work together to bring in such a coalition. He added that getting ‘justice’ to his state is his current priority. The AP Chief Minister also said that leaders at the Centre are not able “to digest the federal leaders or regional leaders,” adding that the BJP wants to have their own party in place everywhere.

Asked why he took 4 years to snap ties with the BJP, Naidu said that the Congress government had done injustice to Andhra Pradesh at the time of bifurcation. He said that he joined NDA with hope that justice will be delivered to the state. “If I had reacted in a hurry, people wouldn’t have accepted it. My nature is to compromise and get things done for the state,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley kept citing Assembly elections as a reason of not taking up the issue of special status to Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu further asserted that he has ruled combined Andhra Pradesh for nine years and was responsible for the formation of NDA-I and United Front. He said that BJP kept him waiting, while it gave ‘similar benefits’ to 11 states. “You wanted to make me a fool. What was your intention and hidden agenda?” Naidu said during the conversation with The Indian Express.

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