‘Jagan Reddy a dictator, Modi and my thinking the same’: Chandrababu Naidu on his political U-turn

With the BJP as an ally, Naidu hopes to counter Jagan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh. But his party’s positions reflect faultlines.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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With an alliance with the BJP, the Telugu Desam Party hopes to counter the YSR Congress Party and chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh, expressing confidence about a sweep in the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

He calls Andhra CM Reddy a “psychopath” and “dictator”, unprecedented in the history of Andhra Pradesh’s list of chief ministers. But that’s also the charge the INDIA bloc invokes against his ally Narendra Modi. “I don’t want to comment. If you compare here, civilians are suffering. Governance is very bad. Not only bad governance. Worst in the history of India, in Andhra,” he says.

In 2019, Naidu had called the Prime Minister a “hardcore terrorist”. How does he explain his U-turn? “You are all creating problems. That is your duty. India is moving very fast now. Now globally India is recognized. My thinking and Modi ji thinking are similar. We are progressive ideology. You are making an issue. Modi and India are doing great.”

But what of the startling comments made by the Prime Minister – calling Muslims infiltrators and a community that produces too many babies? Naidu’s response is evasive. “You may have reservations. By and large Modi ji is contributing for this great nation.”

Despite the Prime Minister’s vow to abolish reservation for Muslims,  which exist in multiple states including  Andhra Pradesh, Naidu has promised to uphold it.  “We are protecting (Muslim reservation) from the beginning. We will protect,” clarifies the TDP chief.  

CBN hit out at the  Jagan Mohan Reddy government for introducing a slew of welfare  schemes targeted at vulnerable groups. But Naidu’s own manifesto promises many freebies.  “I want to give fish and I want to teach people how to fish, both”.

In this conversation with Sreenivasan Jain, watch the TDP chief talk about his politics, his alliance with the BJP, his strategy to tackle Reddy, and more.

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