Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan has told Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to stop his anti-Centre rhetoric which is triggering much political heat in the state. The Governor flew to Vijayawada just to convey this message to the Chief Minister on Wednesday. Andhra Pradesh has been witnessing protests by several parties that are seeking special category status for the state. The situation is escalating to an extent where it may become a law and order problem. In fact, on 20 April, workers belonging to Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) set fire to a motorbike belonging to a leader belonging to Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, in Tirupati. The Governor’s message, interpreted as a warning by political circles, came ahead of the ruling TDP’s “Atma Gourava Sabha (Self Respect Meeting)”, which will take place in Tirupati on Monday.
However, Naidu has not taken kindly to the Governor’s visit and his veiled message, amounting to a “warning”. He said that the TDP had always demanded that the Governor system be abolished in the country. “I have been seeing reports that the Governor is meeting Opposition leaders and uniting them against me,” said Naidu at a meeting in Amaravati on Wednesday.
Naidu even voiced his suspicion that there could be a threat to his government from the Centre and urged the people of the state to save him. “In case something happens to me, or my government, it is your responsibility to protect me and my government and you have to form a kavacham (protective cover) around me,” Naidu told a public meeting in Amaravati on Thursday.
Narasimhan, according to sources in Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad, visited Vijayawada only because of the incendiary remarks made by Naidu and his actor turned MLA brother-in-law, N. Balakrishna, at a daylong fast in the city on 20 April. Some BJP leaders filed police complaints against Balakrishna for his hate speech against the Prime Minister.
Naidu too attacked the PM by saying that he was much senior to the latter in politics, and that because he had opposed the Gujarat riots in 2002 that the PM was still nursing a grudge against him. The CM said that the PM was hindering the development of Andhra Pradesh and that the state would get justice, only if TDP got all the 25 Lok Sabha seats.
Balakrishna used abusive words against the PM and described him as an enemy of Andhra Pradesh. A delegation of BJP leaders called on the Governor in Hyderabad on Thursday and urged him to take action against the TDP leaders for their rhetoric.
The Governor, meanwhile, has sent a report to the Centre on the TDP’s 20 April meeting, sources said. He had sensed that the 30 April meeting in Tirupati could see more anti-Centre rhetoric by the CM and his ministers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed a joint rally at Tirupati before the 2014 elections and had promised to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh if BJP-TDP combine won the election. “How can he go back on his word given in the temple town of Lord Balaji?” thundered Chandrababu Naidu.
The Governor is also believed to be unhappy over another public meeting being held by the YSR Congress on Monday, in Visakhapatnam, on the special status.
Even after the Governor’s meeting with the Chief Minister, some TDP leaders continued to attack the Narasimhan by saying that he was playing politics. TDP MLA Bonda Uma Maheswara Rao said on Thursday that the Governor was working to unite Jagan’s YSR Congress and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena so that they could join the BJP-led NDA. However, Pawan Kalyan denied such charges.