NEW DELHI: After overseeing the Karnataka election campaign, BJP president Amit Shah is all set to renew his war of words with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
The BJP chief is likely to camp in Andhra Pradesh now to lead the counter-offensive against Naidu and his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) over the allegations of the Centre not fulfilling the commitments made before bifurcation of the state.“Shah will answer the propaganda unleashed by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister against the BJP and the Central government. He will hold public meetings in the state, besides rebutting point-by-point each of the claims made by Naidu since his party broke away from the NDA,” said a close aide of the BJP chief.
Shah had earlier shot off a long letter to Naidu with details of the Central assistance on various issues, which was strongly rebutted by the CM. After the YSR Congress built a campaign around moving a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government in the Lok Sabha, the TDP, too, followed suit and first exited the Central government in March over the denial of special category status to Andhra and eventually quit the NDA a week later.
“The BJP chief will take upon himself the onus to counter the campaigns of the TDP and the YSR Congress. The BJP has drawn out the script to counter the negative campaigns by raising the issue of governance. The anti-BJP campaign in the state is essentially to cover up the lack of governance and fulfilment of the promises made by Naidu in the 2014 state polls,” added the BJP functionary. Shah is also likely to put in place a new team of leaders in the state, who would build the BJP’s campaign in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Party sources said the BJP chief is likely to utilise the few months—before the campaign begins for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections this winter—to strengthen the party’s bases in Andhra and Telangana. “He is clear that the BJP can significantly improve its positions in the two southern states for the 2019 general elections. One may expect Shah’s regular presence in the two states in the coming months,” said the BJP functionary.