Reservation for Muslims: Chandrababu Naidu engaging in ‘chameleon politics, says Andhra CM Jagan

Jagan wondered how the TDP and the BJP could travel together when the latter has been opposing reservations for Muslims.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published May 04, 2024 | 9:40 PMUpdatedMay 04, 2024 | 9:41 PM

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy addressing an election rally. (X)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSRCP supremo YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday, 4 May, accused TDP national president N Chandrababu Naidu of engaging in “chameleon politics” by teaming up with the BJP.

The Muslim reservation issue has become a major talking point in Andhra Pradesh, where the TDP and Jana Sena are in alliance with the BJP.

Addressing an election rally in Nellore, Jagan wondered how the TDP and the BJP could travel together when the latter has been opposed to reservations for Muslims. He said that those parties were pursuing opportunistic politics.

The chief minister said that he was committed to continuing the four percent reservations to the Muslims.

Related: BJP ally, TDP’s chief Naidu, vows to continue 4% reservation to Muslims

Reservation not based on religion

“I will protect the interests of the Muslim minorities,” he said and asked whether it was proper to deny reservations to Muslims, who are remaining backward.

He said that the reservations to the Muslims should continue, come what may, and that they were not based on religion.

“The reservations are provided based on their backwardness,” he said. Jagan alleged that Naidu was trying to deceive the Muslims by saying that he was committed to reservations while riding shotgun with the BJP.

“Isn’t this a contradiction? Isn’t this an indication of his intent to deceive them?” he asked.

Jagan said he would go to any extent to protect the reservations to the Muslims.

“I will fight for the interests of the Muslim. I will go to any extent, “he said and dared Naidu to announce that he would continue reservations to Muslims while sharing a dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Related: ‘As long as I’m alive, won’t allow quota for Muslims on basis of religion’: PM Modi

Playing with Muslims’ lives

“Can he step out of the NDA for the sake of Muslims?” he asked. The chief minister further stated that as long as Naidu was with Modi, he would toe the BJP line of not allowing reservations to Muslims.

“He is playing with the lives of the Muslims,” Jagan said.

Addressing an election rally in Telangana’s Zaheerabad Lok Sabha constituency on 30 April, Modi said he would not allow reservations of Dalits, Adivasis, or OBC to be given to Muslims as long as he was alive.

Jagan further said that the coming elections would determine the future of every household in the state. He wanted the people to get ready to call Naidu’s bluff of taking the country on a development path.

He said he had ensured the benefits of all welfare schemes reached the beneficiaries without the intervention of any middlemen, effectively eliminating the scope for corruption.

Related: Neither Modi nor Shah can take away 4% reservation for Muslims, says Revanth Reddy

Development and YSRCP

The chief minister tried to counter the TDP’s campaign that under his rule there was no development in the state.

“We are constructing 17 medical colleges, four ports, and fishing harbours. Has anyone ever imagined that schoolchildren would be given tabs? Isn’t providing quality education an indicator of development?” he asked.

The chief minister further asserted that he had delivered on the 99 percent of promises made in the party’s manifesto.

Jagan said that he had laid special focus on the irrigation front. “We have completed the two tunnels in the Veligonda Project within two years, providing water to the Prakasam district.”

“Did Chandrababu Naidu ever bother about the people of Prakasam district who were yearning for fluoride-free water?” he asked.

The chief minister pointed out that another important development indicator was that he could get investments up to ₹1 lakh crore as against ₹32,000 crore brought in when Naidu was the chief minister.

(Edited by Majnu Babu).