TDP MP Jay Galla on Thursday said party chief N Chandrababu Naidu was “an alternative and a threat” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, days after the Andhra Pradesh chief minister ruled himself out of the 2019 prime ministerial race.
Galla also said that Modi and BJP president Amit Shah did not want to help Andhra Pradesh as they believed that any development work in the state would strengthen Naidu’s credibility.
“The current leadership at the Centre doesn’t want to share credit with anybody…As long as Modi and Shah are at the helm, I don’t think they’re going to help Andhra Pradesh,” Galla told reporters here.
“Chandrababu Naidu is one of the senior-most politicians in the country. And if he continues to perform miracles in Andhra Pradesh like he has done in the past, people would be looking at him as a possible leader. If you look at the entire idea of a Third Front…one of the things is who’s going to lead it? Any day, he is a threat to Narendra Modi…When people talk about Modi’s alternative, he (Naidu) is definitely in that list,” Galla said.
Naidu had recently said that the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) would play a pivotal role in 2019 when regional parties band together to form government at the Centre but had ruled himself out of the prime ministerial race.
The TDP had in March pulled out of the NDA government over the Centre’s refusal to grant special status to the state.
“I do not have any prime ministerial ambitions. This post was offered to me twice in the past,” he said, referring to 1996 when H D Deve Gowda became prime minister and 1997 when I K Gujral took the chair.
“I just want to develop Andhra,” he had said.