‘AP people’ve made up their mind on double engine govt’

‘AP people’ve made up their mind on double engine govt’

The national leadership of the BJP is clear in its mind that the YSRCP government should go. There have been serious lacunae in implementation of...

The national leadership of the BJP is clear in its mind that the YSRCP government should go. There have been serious lacunae in implementation of public policy. That is why it has decided to have alliance with TDP and Janasena and make them partners in the NDA. The alliance is zooming ahead towards forming the double engine government in Andhra Pradesh, says the BJP state president and Lok Sabha candidate from Rajahmundry D Purandeswari in a freewheeling talk with Chief Editor of Hans India V Ramu Sarma. Excerpts:

There is a strong feeling that the BJP was soft towards the YSRCP during last five years and that is why it took so much time to firm up the alliance with TDP and Janasena

I think there is need to clear this issue. Ever since I became the state president, I raised issues like serious irregularities in sand and other mining incidents, liquor mafia, corruption in the government etc. “I had submitted reports to the central party of the BJP. If the BJP central leadership was soft towards YSRCP as you said, then do you think they would have allowed me to make such a noise against the state government?”

Agreed that you have been raising certain issues but your predecessors did not do it

It could be a matter of expression. They might not have been vociferous or expressive enough but that does not shadow the party stand. Here I would like to say one thing. When it comes to passing of crucial bills in Parliament as part of floor management, we may take support from parties but that does not mean that we are leaning towards that party. For example, Mamata Banerjee supports us on certain issues but in the political battle ground we fight against her. So is the case here. Amit Shah ji clearly told us BJP should stand by people and become their voice in AP which we are doing.

But when the Prime Minister addressed the first joint public meeting in AP recently, it was felt that typical Modi brand punches against the YSRCP government were missing

No, he criticised the government. He criticised Jagan Mohan Reddy. See, Suppose Modi ji criticises the government whichever party is in power, people would say being PM he should speak of what BJP government has done for the state and not criticise the state government. If he does not, they will say look he is soft towards that party.

As far as the first joint meeting is concerned, PM did speak about the need for a double engine government in AP. He said for Viksit Bharat, Viksit AP is necessary. He spoke about corruption in the state and asked people to bless the NDA alliance. That was just the first meeting. Modiji and Amit Shahji would be addressing many more joint meetings in the state soon.

You say Centre has given a lot of funds for the state. Then how it that there has been no development here?

That is the issue that needs to be highlighted. No one talks about the 11 institutions that the Centre gave, the money spent on national highways and railways, funds for housing, water schemes. Even the funds given to sarpanches were pocketed and we hesitate in saying that because people are scared that they would be victimised.

Has the state party been able to bring in coordination between BJP, TDP and Janasena? There are reports that some bickering still exists

For any party contesting 175 seats would give a lot of opportunities but the 2024 elections have become crucial for AP which had seen only destruction and nothing else in the last five years. There is a need to ensure that the anti-government votes do not get split. Hence, we had gone in for alliance. This has naturally disappointed some. So we had to speak to them and convince them and now we are moving forward with proper coordination. You can see the flags of all three parties in every meeting now. We ensured proper coordination right down to the village level.

Why should people elect Purandeswari who is an outsider? In the past, two other outsiders, Murali Mohan and film actress Jamuna represented Rajahmundry in Lok Sabha but the allegation is that they did nothing

I do not promise the moon. I don’t say that I will make Rajahmundry and Kakinada as twin cities or a global city. This is the land which is known for its culture and language and is also a literary hub. This is the place where great people like Kandukuri Veeresalingam were born. This is the place where Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu not only studied but also got elected as the Municipal Chairman of Rajamahendravaram in 1904 when he was 31 years old. Hence, there is need to protect the rich culture and language. Setting up eat street is not development.

The city is plagued with lots of problems. Even scientific disposal of garbage is not there. It is dumped on the river bed. Industrial effluents are released into Godavari polluting the waters. Rajahmundry and Anaparti have become garbage dumping grounds. Though the city is on the banks of Godavari, there is an acute water drinking water shortage. I promise to address all these issues on priority basis and that’s why I am appealing to the people to elect me.

There was a problem regarding Anaparti Assembly seat. Has the issue been resolved?

Politics is dynamic situation. The TDP candidate has been in politics for long. We are waiting for the announcement from the party central leadership.

Jagan says three parties including a national party had come together to attack him. Is he so powerful?

The question here is about the health of the state. Jagan Mohan Reddy started his rule with demolition of Prajavedika. Capital city was destroyed, Lord Rama’s idols were vandalised, the lions of ratham of goddess Durga were broken, and economy has been destroyed. Investors have run away. He says “Na akka, Na chelli,” but there is neither any respect for women nor are they safe. It is high time to stop the destructive politics. So the need of the hour is for all parties to come together, form NDA double engine government and put the state back on track. One thing is pakka. There is a silent wave in the state against YSRCP. People have decided.

Don’t you think that though just 30 days are left, the campaign is yet to pick up and that people are still not opening up?

It is a fact that people are still not opening up though they have made up their mind. The reason is you still have a caretaker government in the form of YSRCP. They are scared that they may be victimised. But when you talk to them, they are very clear and are firm that this government should go.

TDP and Janasena feel that unless the Chief Secretary and the DGP are changed, polls may not be as free and fair as they should be

Some representations have been given to the ECI. It is their responsibility to take necessary

measures to ensure free and fair poll and we are confident they will do whatever is necessary.

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