BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday met TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu amid reports of souring ties between their parties, with the two breaking bread together and dedicating to people ambulances equipped with modern life support systems.
Apart from discussing the political scenario in the country at a luncheon meeting, the two leaders exchanged their views on the upcoming presidential election.
“There was a general discussion on the political scenario in AP and also about the forthcoming presidential election,” a TDP leader, who attended the lunch hosted by the chief minister said.
Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Suresh Prabhu, Y S Chowdary, state TDP president K Kala Venkata Rao, state ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Kamineni Srinivas, Nara Lokesh and state BJP president Kambhampati Hari Babu were also present.
Shah was on a day-long visit to Vijayawada to address the party’s polling booth-level workers, as part of his nationwide outreach exercise.
The meeting came in the wake of the BJP’s Telangana unit severing its ties with the TDP and acrimony between the second-rung leaders of the two parties in Andhra Pradesh.
The two sides have sparred over a host of issues, particularly on the demand for special category status to the state and financial aid by the Centre.
A fresh round of squabble between the two parties began after Prime Minister Narendra Modi granted audience to YSR Congress president and state opposition leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy early this month. Reddy has said his party would back the NDA’s presidential nominee.
The second-rung leaders of these parties have engaged in a slanging match in the last few days.
Chandrababu was said to be livid over his partymen openly criticising the BJP.
Earlier in the day, Chandrababu and Shah flew down from Hyderabad together and dedicated to people 13 advanced life support ambulances at Vijayawada airport.
The ambulances were purchased at a cost of Rs 4.16 crore from the MPLADS funds of Suresh Prabhu, who is a member of Rajya Sabha from the state.
These would cater to the people of 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh and help patients in far flung areas, Prabhu said.
He said he had plans to set up hightech trauma centres along highways from MPLADS funds.