- Chandrababu Naidu's party TDP pulled out of alliance with BJP today
- Andhra parties in chorus against BJP, demand special status to state
- Pawan Kalyan's attacks on Naidu have hastened his split with BJP
"Currently, the image of the BJP in the state is completely negative. Nobody in his right frame of mind will partner with the BJP at this time," Mr Kalyan told NDTV.
Earlier in the week, the Jana Sena party chief had attacked Mr Naidu and his son Lokesh, accusing them of "corruption" and "misuse of power" but had not backed his allegations with proof.
Speaking at his party's fourth anniversary celebrations, Mr Kalyan had also accused the TDP chief of striking a secret deal with the BJP and agreeing to a special financial package instead of a special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
The TDP has denied all the allegations, claiming that Mr Kalyan made them at the behest of some bigwigs -- an oblique reference to the BJP leadership.
Mr Kalyan's allegations are seen as one of the reasons that hastened the TDP's split with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Assembly elections are due in Andhra Pradesh next year and regional parties in the state, including the YSR Congress headed by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, have repeatedly targeted the TDP for being unable to secure a special category status for the state. The tag would have meant a greater infusion of central funds, something that was promised by the centre earlier.
"I could have contested 60-70 assembly and 10-12 parliament seats in 2014. I supported the TDP and BJP without expecting anything in return but they did not meet people's expectations," Mr Kalyan told NDTV.
Speaking in the assembly today, the chief minister sought to silence his critics by sending out a message to voters.
"Arun Jaitley said sentiment cannot increase quantum of funds. What a reckless statement. Telangana was carved for sentiment. Sentiment is very powerful. Even now you are doing injustice," he said, targeting the union finance minister who had last week ruled out a special category status but promised to honour the financial commitments made to Andhra Pradesh.
On a day, the TDP pulled out of the NDA and gave a notice for a no-confidence motion against the government, the BJP hit back saying it would do a Tripura in Andhra Pradesh next year.
"We believe the TDP is finding the going tough in Andhra Pradesh, they are seeing a defeat for themselves in 2019 and they want to use this as an alibi to really retrieve lost political ground," said BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao.
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