KCR’s return gift jibe: Naidu welcomes TRS chief to tour state

K Chandrasekhar Rao

Amaravati/Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu Wednesday welcomed TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao to the state, a day after the latter said he would soon tour AP as a “return gift” to “expose” the Telugu Desam Party chief.

Naidu said everyone had the right to go anywhere in a democracy. Reaffirming his plans to tour the state, KCR (as Chandrasekhar Rao is popularly known) Wednesday said he would go to Andhra Pradesh, similar to the way Naidu came to Telangana for campaigning during the Assembly polls.

“Will go 100 per cent. Why will not we go? We should go there 100 per cent and we are getting invitations from there,” he told reporters at Hyderabad. He was asked for his stance on going to Andhra Pradesh as AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi reportedly said he would go to AP similar to Naidu visiting Telangana (for campaigning).

The TRS president Tuesday sarcastically had said he would offer “return gift” to Naidu by entering AP politics. Soon after his Telangana Rashtra Samithi registered a thumping victory in the Telangana Assembly polls drubbing the Congress-TDP led ‘People’s Front’, the TRS chief hit out at Naidu for targeting him during the Telangana election campaign.

“He (Naidu) has come and worked in Telangana (poll campaign), so I too have to go to AP and do the same. If Naidu gives me a gift, should I not return it? Otherwise I will be called cultureless,” KCR said Tuesday.

“So, I have to return the gift to my friend Chandrababu Naidu and 100 per cent I will definitely give it and show what impact it is going to play,” KCR said. The TRS chief said he would soon tour AP to “expose” Naidu.

Reacting to this, Naidu said in a democracy anyone could go anywhere and work. “He (KCR) is talking about a return gift. One can go anywhere to impress people,” the AP CM said at a students’ meeting in Ongole.

Naidu said the TDP was established for the sake of Telugu people. Rao’s son and TRS leader K T Rama Rao Wednesday said his party was yet to decide on the issue of campaigning for the YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh.

“We have friends across the political spectrum and we are not particularly friendly with just one political party or the other. “They become our opponents when they are fighting against us….Jaganmohan Reddy and his party is also fighting a tough battle in Andhra Pradesh. We wish them well. Let the dust settle here. Why rush into so many things at once,” he said when asked if they would campaign for Reddy in the 2019 polls.

Asked if he would hand over the reins to his son K T Rama Rao as he intended to focus on national politics, the TRS president asked why cannot he work from Hyderabad. Replying to a query, he said he would not mind if someone thought that he is being “undemocratic” as he would like to be strong in his approach towards administration.

Not being tough would lead to absence of order, he said. To another query, the TRS chief said he was focused on administration and progress in his first term and that he did not go after opposition leaders allegedly involved in corruption as steering the state following bifurcation was a huge responsibility, he said.

Such opposition leaders would have said they are being victimised. “We got the name that we are the best state in India. Now, we will not keep quiet if (they) say we speak as we wish. …. we will be after these thieves (corrupt). We will make them pay for what they had done,” he said.