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TDP Leader Nara Lokesh Says Any Party Willing to Fight Andhra CM Jagan Welcome to Join Hands – News18

Former Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu’s wife Nara Bhuvaneshwari, son Nara Lokesh and daugher-in-law Brahmani Nara address the media at the Central Prison in Rajamahendravaram. (Image: PTI)

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh questioned the “snail’s pace” of progress in several criminal cases, including in alleged misappropriation of money, against CM Jagan Mohan Reddy

TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu’s arrest by Andhra Pradesh police in a corruption case is an attempt by a “known corrupt” chief minister to hamper the party’s election campaign, its national general secretary Nara Lokesh said on Saturday, asserting it will welcome any other party willing to join the fight against the state’s ruling YSR Congress Party.

Naidu’s son Lokesh, however, questioned the “snail’s pace” of progress in several criminal cases, including in alleged misappropriation of money, lodged by central investigation agencies like the CBI and ED against chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, saying it does raise questions.

“Clearly, nothing seems to be moving. The chief minister is happily out on bail. He is now celebrating his 10th anniversary of being on bail while the CBI has filed a chargesheet for misappropriation of Rs 42,000 crore. He is probably influencing every witness possible. It does raise questions,” he told PTI in an interview.

“Absolute power corrupt absolutely and corrupt people attack honest people. This is exactly what has happened in Andhra Pradesh. As a chief minister for 15 years and the opposition leader for 15 years, Naidu has built a squeaky clean political career in the last 42 years. Now a known corrupt CM who has 38 cases against him, out of which 10 were lodged by the CBI and seven by the ED, is trying to throw mud at him,” he said.

Reddy and his party YSR Congress have in the past termed these cases as politically motivated.

With Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan, who has been a BJP ally, announcing his party’s tie-up with the TDP after meeting Naidu following his arrest, Lokesh said the alliance will virtually sweep the parliamentary and assembly polls in the state next year. Both elections are held simultaneously in Andhra Pradesh.

It is entirely up to the BJP and Naidu to decide, he said, rejecting as speculation that the TDP supremo has been keen on a tie-up with the ruling party at the Centre. “Our stand is very clear. Whoever comes together with us against this fight against this tyrant administration, Jagan Mohan, we welcome,” he added.

Asked if he is confident that the TDP-Jana Sena alliance will do well in polls irrespective of the BJP joining them or not, he said, “Absolutely”. “People were just waiting for a chance to throw Jagan out of power before Naidu’s arrest. Post-arrest, there is so much of anger against him. He is going to be surprised. The TDP-Jana Sena will sweep the polls,” said the young leader, seen as the political heir to his father in the party.

Reddy, he alleged, has grown “genuinely scared” of Naidu due to the popular response the former chief minister was getting and the crowd his own padyatra had been drawing across the state. Kalyan too has been getting warm response and so the chief minister wanted to put a “speed-breaker” on our campaign, he said.

Asked if Naidu’s arrest has come at a wrong time for the TDP as the polls approach, he shot back saying the arrest has come at wrong time for Reddy. His party will legally fight it out, he said, adding that peaceful protests have been happening across the state.

Justice can be delayed but not denied, he said, expressing confidence that his father will soon get relief from courts. “He has committed no crime. Police have been holding press meets but have not been able to establish any money trail. Because there is no money trail,” Lokesh said.

The arrest is nothing but political vendetta, he said, asserting that he was in the national capital to put facts before people and hold consultations with party MPs about their future strategy.

Asked if he will seek any intervention from the Centre, Lokesh said, “There is genuinely a law and order problem in the state. Even BJP leaders in Andhra Pradesh have had cases slapped against them. I will leave it to the BJP to decide how they will react to the issue.” He also expressed apprehension that he might be arrested as well by the state police. “That is how a mafia runs,” he alleged.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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