War of words between TRS, BJP intensifies over Shah's comments

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 26, 2017

Addressing a meeting of party workers here to wind up his three-day visit to Telangana, he exuded confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will form the government in Telangana in the same way as it has done in many states during the last three years. Commenting on this Rao said that according to recent survey, BJP will not be able to win even one seat. "Today, I want to say in entire south India, if there is one state where it will be the strongest, it would be Andhra Paradesh", he said.

During his visit to Telangana, Shah hinted that the alliance will continue in Andhra Pradesh but the BJP may go alone in Telangana in 2019 elections. Second rung leadership traded charges against each other, particularly after the TDP expressed its displeasure over Prime Minister Modi entertaining opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who has been facing a CBI probe into his alleged ill-gotten wealth.

He announced he would visit the state again in August for three days for booth-level review.

There was no information on whether Chandrababu and Shah had a one-on-one chat, as widely expected.

The BJP has just four members in 175-member Andhra Pradesh assembly.

The TDP is a partner in BJP-led NDA government at the Centre while the BJP is an ally of the TDP in the ruling coalition in Andhra Pradesh.

Recalling that once the BJP had only a handful of legislators in the country, he claimed now it is the biggest party in the world and running governments in a number of states. He said that the special category status was not possible as the 14th Finance Commission had recommended against it and wanted the people to understand the difficulties. In 2016-17, Telangana sent a total of Rs50,013 crore to the Centre through income tax, sales tax, custom tax and the central excise tax.

Alleging that the state government misused central funds in certain schemes, Reddy said the BJP would not step back and would continue its campaign against the TRS government.

"There was a general discussion on the political scenario in AP and also about the forthcoming presidential election", a TDP leader, who attended the lunch hosted by the chief minister said.

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