PM Narendra Modi

Modi Predicts NDA Sweep In Andhra, Telangana

PM Narendra Modi

Predicting a clean sweep for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Andhra Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he never considered Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy as an ‘ally’.

In an interview with NTV, a Telugu news channel, PM Modi said the incumbent YSRCP regime in the state led by Jagan wouldn’t be voted back in the state elections.

The BJP is contesting the Lok Sabha and the assembly elections in the state in alliance with its NDA partners–the Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan’s JanaSena Party.

“I don’t believe that the present government in Andhra Pradesh will be voted back. The state’s economy is in dire straits presently. We never considered Jagan as a potential ally. However, their (YSRCP’s) members did support us in certain issues in Parliament,” PM Modi said.

YSRCP members in the Rajya Sabha had voted in favour of the Government of National Capital Territory (Amendment) Bill when it came to a vote in the Upper House of the Parliament. The draft legislation on the allocation of administrative powers in the national capital was introduced by the BJP-led NDA.

“Even earlier, we fought elections as opponents. We never went into polls as allies and always remained at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. I hold a constitutional post and my mandate is to make all states strong, regardless of who is in power. 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.

Expressing confidence in the BJP-led NDA raking in the bulk of the electoral spoils in the state, PM Modi said, “The BJP and TDP are fighting the ongoing elections as partners in the NDA. The JanaSena is also with us this time. From the turnout and public involvement in our rallies and roadshows, I can say with confidence that the NDA will not only win the majority of Lok Sabha seats here but will also form the next government in Andhra Pradesh.”

Expanding on why he sees the NDA mopping up the poll sweepstakes in neighbouring Congress-ruled Telangana this time as well, he added, “I see the same green shoots for the BJP in Telagana as I did in Gujarat back in 2018-19. Also, from the vibes that we have been getting from the people on the campaign trail, I see a clean sweep for us (in Telangana) this time.”

Also stressing the importance of carrying like-minded regional partners along, PM Modi said, “I believe that as national parties, we should respect and address the aspirations of regional parties as well.”

“If regional parties are with us, it makes it all the more easier for us to work towards realising their aspirations. When it comes to states such as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, we need more parties to join hands with us. No matter how big we are, we will be forever committed to taking our regional partners along and working towards fulfilling their goals and aspirations,” he added.

Taking a swipe at the ruling Congress in Telangana, PM Modi said the grand old party was never the ‘first choice’ for the people when it came to electing the government. “The Congress came to power in the state only a few months ago, riding on a clear mandate and a handsome majority. However, this government has failed at every level. My sense is that there was a lot of pent-up public anger against the BRS (Bharat Rashtra Samithi), which was translated into votes in favour of the Congress. I don’t think the Congress was the first choice for the people in Telangana.”

Asserting that the present ruling parties in Andhra and Telangana do not have a clear vision or roadmap for the development of these states, PM Modi drew a comparison of these two regimes with the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, saying, “The governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have no vision for the development of these states. Chhattisgarh had only recently been carved out as a separate state (from Madhya Pradesh) when we got a chance to serve the people there. Our government worked towards giving a new shape and direction to Chhattisgarh. 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.”

Sharing his vision for these states, including the development of public infrastructure while marking simultaneous strides in agriculture and urbanisation and ensuring social justice, PM Modi said, “More needs to be done to speed up the development of advanced infrastructure (in these states). At the same time, the agricultural development in the rural regions should also be given priority.”

“Urbanisation in this era is inevitable and I believe that 5-7 cities of the state should be developed with modern amenities and brought at par with cities elsewhere. Hyderabad should be developed as a global city. It is not just a capital city but has a global image to protect and advance,” PM Modi added.

“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. (ANI)

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