Chandrababu Naidu Warns PM Modi, "Personal Attacks Beget Personal Attacks"

Chandrababu Naidu Warns PM Modi, "Personal Attacks Beget Personal Attacks"

Chandrababu Naidu Warns PM Modi, "Personal Attacks Beget Personal Attacks" 

New Delhi: N Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh delivered a stinging rebuttal to PM Modi's allegations that public funds were being used to finance his political campaigns, and warned that personal attacks against him would only beget a similar response.

The Prime Minister, who was on his first visit to Andhra Pradesh after the Bhartiya Janata Party's break-up with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), PM Modi had earlier today accused Mr Naidu of betraying everybody from political allies to members of his own family. He said, "Why does he (Chandrababu Naidu) often claim that he is senior to me? Yes, he is senior to me in things like switching sides, forming new alliances and "backstabbing" his seniors -- just like he deceived his father-in-law (NT Rama Rao)," at a rally in Guntur earlier today.

The jibe, understandably did not go down well with the chief minister. "I don't usually make personal attacks, but Modi is now forcing me to do so with his comments. He speaks about bringing about a triple talaq law to help Muslim women abandoned by their husbands, but he has no answer if anybody asks him about his own wife, Yashoda Ben," Mr Naidu said.

Mr Naidu, also took exception to PM Modi hinting that his son, Nara Lokesh, was being given more prominence in the TDP. He quipped,"Yes, I am proud to be Lokesh's dad. I have always promoted family values, but as Modi has no family, he will not understand them."

Although the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh was in Vijayawada at the time of PM Modi's arrival, he sidestepped protocol to refrain from receiving him at the airport. He later rejected the Prime Minister's claims that accused him of diverting public funds to finance his political campaigns. "Modi makes wild allegations. He speaks as though he asked us for accounts, but we did not reply. I have nothing to hide. Our accounts people, or even the Comptroller and Auditor General, can give all the answers. I don't have to reply to anything," he said.

However, Mr Naidu questioned the Prime Minister's penchant for wearing expensive clothes that "cost up to one crore rupees". "Gandhiji was a simple man. I have also worn the same kind of clothes for 40 years. Only today I am wearing black for the sake the people," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was greeted by hordes of TDP, Congress and Left activists waving banners of "No More Modi" and "Modi Never Again" upon his arrival in Andhra Pradesh. While the Prime Minister's convoy was on its way to the venue of the rally in Guntur, black flags and balloons were also waved by protesters. His effigies were set afire in some places.

"Modi's Andhra Pradesh tour is an utter flop. BJP should realise that people are registered their protest against his betrayal of Andhra Pradesh by not attending his rallies," Mr Naidu said.

The Telugu Desam Party and other opposition parties accuse the Narendra Modi government of going back on a long-awaited promise of providing special state status to Andhra Pradesh.

However, PM Modi claimed that he had gone for beyond offering the special status to Andhra Pradesh. He said, "As Chandrababu Naidu couldn't develop the state nor give accounts for his expenditure, he is cooking up lies," adding that the Polavaram project has turned into a means for the Chief Minister's family to make money.

The allegations were dismissed by Nara Lokesh, who is the Information Technology Minister in the state government. "If they have even a shred of evidence, they should take action. We are ready," he said.

Mehbooba Mufti, the chief of People's Democratic Party chief tweeted in support of Mr Naidu. "There are no permanent friends or foes in politics. But its doesnt  behove the PM of the worlds largest democracy to resort to personal attacks. In solidarity with @ncbn garu," she said.