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Will Naidu’s Regional Aspirations Trump National Interest?

| Updated: June 8, 2024 12:40

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu praised Narendra Modi’s leadership for transforming India into a “global powerhouse” and acknowledged the “huge difference” the latter made to TDP’s sweep of AP, while also calling for measures to balance “regional aspirations with national interests”.

“In Andhra, he (Modi) held three meetings and one big rally. It made a huge difference in winning the polls. The home minister addressed a very powerful meeting there. It significantly changed the situation, giving people confidence that the Centre is with the state,” Naidu said, while also referring to the campaign speeches of defence minister Rajnath Singh and BJP chief JP Nadda in AP.

“Balancing regional aspirations and national interest must run parallelly, ensuring holistic development across all strata of society,” Naidu further said in what was interpreted by many as an articulation of his demand for Central assistance for Andhra, which is in dire financial straits and strapped for funds for construction of a new capital in Amaravati to substitute Hyderabad which it lost to Telangana, completion of Polavaran irrigation project and for fulfilling the promises that Naidu made to wrest the reins back from arch rival Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The meet also saw the mutual admiration between Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan and Modi, with Kalyan calling Modi an inspiration “from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Kamakhya to Dwarka”.

Kalyan, while extending his party’s support to Modi, recounted Naidu’s prediction in Central Hall of Parliament in 2014 that Modi would be PM for 15 years. “Chandrababu ji, your prophecy has come true. Modi ji, you truly inspire the nation. As long as you are PM, our country will never bow down to anyone,” he said. Modi’s response to the actor-turned-politician, “yeh pawan nahi hai, aandhi hai,” has gone viral on the internet.

Speaking earlier, Naidu called for collective effort towards a “zero poverty nation”, and described the moment as a “crucial juncture in our nation’s history”.

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