With the National Democratic Alliance rejecting outright the demand for special category status to Andhra Pradesh and ignoring the demands for industrial tax incentives to the state, Telugu Desam Party president and chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is planning to kick up the slogan of “self-respect of Telugus” to cash in on in the next assembly elections.
Never in the past did Naidu rake up the north-south divide and controversy over resource sharing between the Centre and the states. But the way Naidu spoke in the Andhra Pradesh legislative council on Monday clearly proved that he is gradually building up a tempo among the people that the Centre was neglecting AP just to prove the domination of the north.
For the first time, the TDP chief accused the NDA government of diverting the tax revenues collected from south to the development of northern states.
“There is nothing called Central money or state’s money. It’s the people’s money. The southern states contribute maximum tax revenues to the Centre, but the latter is diverting the money to the development of northern states,” he alleged.
The chief minister indicated that the Andhra sentiment could be fully exploited in the next elections so as to counter the BJP onslaught.
When Telangana can be formed on the basis of sentiment, the special category status to AP is also a strong sentiment of the people, which the Centre cannot ignore, he asserted.
Party sources said Naidu is planning to rake up the Andhra sentiment and self-respect in all his speeches in the coming days.
“If necessary, he might even to the extent of extending non-cooperation movement to the Centre by stopping paying of taxes,” a source said.