Telugu Desam Party president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday said the future of Andhra Pradesh would depend on the outcome of the upcoming state assembly elections, which he said would a battle between 50 million people and a dictator.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters at Mangalagiri in Guntur, the first after securing regular bail from the high court in the skill development corporation case, Naidu said it was not the individuals or parties, but the people should win the elections. “They have to choose a leader who will make the state prosperous,” he said.
Naidu said the writing on the wall for the ruling YSR Congress Party led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy was clear – that he would be losing the elections. “That is why he is changing the sitting candidates from their respective segments. But even if he changes all the 150 sitting MLAs, his party is not going to win the coming polls as the people have decided to show them exit doors,” he said.
The TDP chief accused the state government of being negligent in taking preventive measures to control the damage caused by the Michaung cyclone, resulting in destruction of standing crop in 2.2 million acres in 15 districts. “Water should have been released from Pattiseema project to Krishna delta much earlier, so that the farmers would have harvested the crop much before the cyclone hit the state in November,” he said.
“I have never seen such an anti-incumbency against the present government and the people were eagerly waiting for the elections to get rid of this dispensation,” he said.
Brushing aside the the TDP chief’s allegations, senior YSRCP leader and state education minister Botsa Satyanarayana said the people had several reasons to vote Jagan back to power in the state in the coming elections.
“The welfare schemes being implemented by the Jagan government and the changes introduced by it in the education and healthcare sector are enough for the people to see the difference between the previous TDP government and our government,” the minister said.
Describing Naidu as an “invalid currency”, Satyanarayana recalled how the TDP had faced a miserable defeat when he fielded candidates in 175 seats. “This time, his party is contesting a lesser number of seats in alliance with Jana Sena Party. One can imagine what is going to happen to his party. In fact, there is no guarantee that Naidu himself will retain his seat,” Botsa said.
He defended the decision of chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy to change candidates in several constituencies. “It is very common to make changes in the sitting seats depending on the prevailing political situation,” he said