VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has dismissed the 14-month-long walkathon of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy as a vihara yatra (pleasure trip).
"How can he call his fancy walk a padayatra? When I had done it, I used to walk 10.5 km on an average per day that too till wee hours. But, he did not walk past 7 pm and took off to Hyderabad every Thursday and Friday," Naidu quipped, in an informal chat with reporters at Praja Vedika on Wednesday.
The CM further claimed that he still suffers from the knee pain he developed during his padayatra. "I still have the pain. I was told to take a month's break and return to padayatra. But, since it was a holy yatra, I refused, and used ice pack during breaks and continued. Yet, I enjoyed it," he noted. In the run-up to the 2014 elections, Naidu had undertaken a 208-day padayatra in 2013, covering a total of 2,817 kms in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.
Talking about alliances with other parties, Naidu said TDP had a different approach. "Some parties may have an alliance at State level, but may not work together at the national level.
The vice-versa can also happen. Some parties work together for democratic and secular compulsions, and some due to political compulsions. So, for political compulsions, if a party doesn’t support an alliance at State level, it can be an ally at the national level due to democratic compulsion,” he explained.
Asked if he was referring to the alliance with the Congress in the State, he replied, “I am just explaining the possibilities. I haven’t thought in that direction yet. If there is anything I will let you know. I am not fond of an alliance, but when it is being said that the Centre has to give Rs 75,000 crore to us, we will work towards getting what we deserve. We will also have to take into account the sentiments of people and party workers. But for democratic compulsions, we will have to work together at the national level.” He added that he did not think about any alliance with the Jana Sena Party either.
On holding Dharma Porata Deeksha in the capital region by inviting national leaders, Naidu said discussions are going on and it will be finalised on January 19 after the proposed rally by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata.Naidu also challenged the YSRC leaders for a debate on the book ‘Avineeti Chakravarthi’ (Emperor of Corruption) released by the Opposition party.“What is there in it? Let them come for a debate. The State budget’s outlay itself is not as much as the alleged irregularities. They are resorting to unprincipled politics,” he alleged.
Earlier in the day, speaking to the media in Ongole, Naidu took exception to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ decision of handing over the Jagan attack case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and recalled that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had opposed the NIA Act when he was CM of Gujarat. “Modi is misusing the same Act now. Don’t be surprised if they register a case against me on charges of attacking someone,’’ Naidu claimed.