HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu today claimed he had twice got the opportunity to become Prime Minister but turned them down.
"I got the opportunity to become Prime Minister of the country on two occasions (in the 1990s) but I refused. My focus is solely on Andhra Pradesh though we play an effective role at the national level," Naidu told reporters here.
The former Chief Minister said he was not inclined for a role in politics at the national level as "I may become Chief Minister again".
"For me and TDP, Andhra Pradesh comes first. My (political) experience should benefit the state and I may become Chief Minister again", Naidu said adding national politics was not new to the party.
He was reacting to CPI general secretary A B Bardhan?s suggestion that he should now focus on politics at the national level.
"TDP has always played a key role in national politics.
The National Front and later the United Front were formed under our aegis and it was with TDP?s support that NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee had stayed in power for over six years", he said adding "we had also been the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha (in 1984)".
Naidu said development of Andhra Pradesh was paramount for TDP in whichever role it played at the national level.
He claimed the state had made rapid strides during TDP rule and "earned international glory under us but now nobody talks about the state. That pains me immensely."
He alleged Andhra Pradesh faced a serious leadership crisis now and the state?s future looked gloomy.