Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu said regional parties would be kingmakers in the 2019 elections. Photograph:( ANI )
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister said that all regional parties were coming together to defeat the BJP
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said on Sunday that all regional parties were coming together to defeat the BJP which would "taste defeat" in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"In 2019, the regional parties will be king-makers. All regional parties are coming together to defeat BJP. In upcoming Lok Sabha elections, BJP will taste defeat," Chandrababu Naidu, who withdrew from the NDA alliance in March said.
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister also criticised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government over the demonetisation
of high-value currency notes in 2016, stating that it had led to a never-seen-before shortage of currency.
"I supported demonetization. I thought it would be good for the economy. But because of centre, banks are going insolvent. People have lost faith in the banking system. We have never seen such shortage of currency," Chandrababu Naidu said.
Chandrababu Naidu said his party played a key role in forming governments in the past and had the power to change the political narrative in the country, hinting that it would tie-up with like-minded parties to stop the BJP's juggernaut in 2019.
"The Congress is in the opposition. It cannot do much. But the BJP will definitely not come to power in 2019," the Andhra Pradesh chief minister said while inaugurating the TDP's annual conclave Mahanadu in Andhra Pradesh's Vijayawada.
Calling PM Modi a "campaign PM" who has "failed to deliver on promises", Chandrababu Naidu said that the BJP coming to power in 2019 was a "distant dream".
The party president said the TDP was key in forming the United Front government in 1996.
"The TDP has in the past played a key role in forming governments. It has the power to change the political narrative in the country. We won't step back," Naidu said.
He said the TDP withdrew support from the NDA government as the Centre had reneged on its promise to grant Andhra Pradesh Special Category status and to implement the AP Reorganisation Act.
Naidu accused the BJP of betraying the people of Andhra Pradesh and trying to create law and order problems in the state in collusion with the YSRCP.
Andhra Pradesh has been seeking special category status on the grounds that it is at a disadvantage, especially because of the loss of capital Hyderabad to Telangana.
When erstwhile Andhra Pradesh was being bifurcated in 2014, then prime minister Manmohan Singh, during a discussion on the AP Reorganisation Bill, had said, "Special category status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh for a period of five years.
But the BJP, which came to power at the Centre a few months later, has been saying that the 14th Finance Commission does not provide for such treatment to Andhra Pradesh.
The TDP had in March withdrawn support from the NDA government over the Centre's refusal to grant special category status to the state.
Naidu and his party have in the past accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of reneging on his election promise made in 2014 to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
(With inputs from agencies)