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"It Will Be Painful": Chandrababu Naidu Issues Fresh Warning To Centre

The BJP's largest ally in south, Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party had led protests in parliament earlier this month, claiming that the Union Budget had been grossly unfair to the state.


Bengaluru:  Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu today issued a fresh warning to the centre, saying that the people of his state are "wounded", and that if justice was not done to them, "it will be painful".

Mr Naidu was speaking to NDTV at The Hindu Huddle, a two-day summit organised by The Hindu Group of newspapers in Bengaluru.

The 66-year-old Chief Minister said he "came to Delhi 29 times, met PM and ministers", but says the centre's promises for financial support for the state, from which the Telangana region was carved into a separate state in 2014, have not been met.

Mr Naidu's party, the Telugu Desam Party or TDP is in alliance with the BJP-led NDA government in New Delhi. However, despite being the BJP's largest ally in South India, the BJP government has not accepted the TDP's demand for Special Category status for Andhra Pradesh that would earn it huge amounts of central assistance.

When asked if he had set a deadline for central support, he said "deadline (for centre to act) is of one year, till (general) elections".

Mr Naidu ducked a direct question on whether he will withdraw from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA, pointing instead to his party colleague, Union Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in the audience. "He is still in the cabinet," Mr Naidu said, to laughter.

At the same time, he hinted that he did not want to risk the fate of the Congress, which was voted out of power in the new state because of popular anger against the bifurcation. "(For) 10 years Congress was ruling. They have lost totally, even deposits. What the (people of Andhra Pradesh) have done, they have punished the party that has done injustice for them, in a democratic way. So what I am asking today, Government of India, (is) if you won't do justice, the already wounded soldiers (of Andhra Pradesh), if you touch them, it will be very painful. When there is a wound, if you touch them also, it will be more pain."

The TDP had led protests in parliament earlier this month, claiming that the Union Budget had been grossly unfair to the new state.

The state unit of the BJP too has been very critical of the Naidu government over the past few months and has even hinted at working with its rival YSR Congress, whose leader Jagan Mohan Reddy recently talked about supporting the BJP if Andhra Pradesh was given special status.

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