Once a key NDA ally now bitter foes , the war of words between the TDP and BJP have increased as the 2019 General Elections nears. In the latest face- off, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has reportedly challenged BJP president Amit Shah to prove the allegations that he reposed faith in the Pakistan Prime Minister while doubting Narendra Modi on the Pulwama terror attack.
Mr Naidu asked BJP leaders to stop “meaningless” criticism and propaganda against him. He also wanted the BJP to apologise to the country by withdrawing the remarks against him.
In a statement released to the media in Amaravati, the Chief Minister claimed he had only “recalled” PM Modi’s demand in 2013 after the terror attacks in Bihar and Kashmir that Manmohan Singh resign as Prime Minister.
“I only questioned if Modi will step down as Prime Minister owning responsibility for the Pulwama attack. I am unable to understand why the BJP leaders are jittery over this,” Mr Naidu said.
He wondered if it was patriotism when PM Modi spoke and not when he spoke. “If you do, it is good politics and if we do is it mean politics,” he said.
What would PM Modi answer to the nation about the allegations that he spent three hours shooting for a television channel programme when the Pulwama attack happened, Mr Naidu asked.
Slamming Mr Naidu for his remarks on Islamabad’s claim of it not being involved in the Pulwama terror attack, Amit Shah on Thursday had said the former had more faith in the Pakistan Prime Minister than on PM Modi.
“Chandrababu endorses what Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says on Pulwama that his country is not involved in the dastardly attack. He is taking Imran Khan’s side in his greed for vote bank politics and is seeking to create doubts on India’s Prime Minister. Don’t indulge in such mean and low politics,” the BJP president had said.
Mr Naidu had on Wednesday reportedly said “Pakistan has made it clear that it has no role in the Pulwama attack. Suspicion is now strengthening across the country that political expediency could be behind the attack. We will not tolerate such things to further political vested interests.”
The Telugu Desam Party had initially circulated this message on the Telegram mobile App about Mr Naidu’s remarks during the teleconference with party leaders and local television news channels also ran scrolls on it.
Some time later, the message was apparently replaced with another one that read there were ‘doubts’ on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks.