Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday is slated to address Praja Chaitanya Sabha, a public rally in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh to kick off BJP’s poll campaign in the state ahead of upcoming general elections.
This is the first time the Prime Minister will visit the state after the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) broke ties with the NDA government last year. The TDP, Congress and Left parties have all planned big protests across Andhra Pradesh.
PM Modi is also scheduled to visit Raichur in Karnataka and Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu today to inaugurate several development projects.
He is set to unveil development projects in the twin cities of Hubballi and Dharwad, Karnataka. He will lay the foundation stone of the Indian Institute of Technology, Dharwad and dedicate the city distribution project in Dharwad.
PM Modi will also witness the 3-griha pravesh (house warming) of 2,384 houses built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in Dharwad.
Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu has called on his party members to hold Gandhian protests during PM’s visit. Hoardings saying ‘Go Back Modi’ and ‘Never Again Modi’ were reportedly put up near the Vijayawada airport in Andhra Pradesh. However, they were removed after the BJP protested.
Shyam Kishore, BJP spokesperson, said, “The BJP government has given a lot of development projects and funds to the state of Andhra Pradesh. We will take them into the people, we will expose the TDP’s smear campaign and vote bank politics.”
A day before the rally, TDP Andhra Pradesh president Kimidi Kala Venkat Rao took on the Prime Minister over a number of issues, including special category status with Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) chief Jagan Mohan Reddy. He alleged that Prime Minister Modi was behaving “more revengeful” towards Andhra Pradesh since its bifurcation in 2014.
Posing a series of questions, Rao questioned Prime Minister Modi’s intention of visiting the state, adding that he was “cheating” the state “with the deception as your theory.” “First time in Tirupathi, you deceived us by saying you are giving the special category status to the state. The second deception you made at the time of laying down the foundation stone for the construction of capital city Amaravati. Are you coming to Guntur to deceive third time?” Rao wrote in the letter.
Talking about Jagan’s corruption case, Rao took a jibe at the Prime Minister, questioning the delay in the investigation, stating “how many decades” will the inquiry take to finish, which is happening only on discharge petitions.
Questioning that Prime Minister Modi was coming to Andhra Pradesh for “begging” for votes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Rao alleged that the Centre did not take note when Titli and Pethai cyclonic storms ravaged the state. Prime Minister Modi will address a public meeting titled “Praja Chaitanya Sabha” at Etukuru bypass road near Guntur city on Sunday.
Accusing the Centre’s promise of building Kadapa Steel Plant and Visaka Railway Zone in the state as a “double game”, Rao claimed that Prime Minister Modi filed the charge sheets in the Supreme Court, saying it was not possible to give land for the construction.
The TDP, a ruling party of Andhra Pradesh, pulled out from the NDA last year over the demand of special category status which was promised during the bifurcation of the state in 2014. Since then, ties between TDP and BJP have soured.