Visakhapatnam: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attended Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s election rally in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
Kejriwal and Mamta launched a scathing attack on the BJP.
The TMC chief challenged the Prime Minister to a US Presidential-style debate, in full view of television cameras. She said: “If they can do it abroad, why don’t we do one here?”
“This is a special poll. You must think who you vote for. We will not let Modi win. Delhi will have Janata’s Sarkar (government of the people). You don’t worry after we win, we will have a PM candidate,” the W Bengal chief minister further said.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal averred PM Modi led the “most corrupt” government since Independence and along with BJP chief Amit Shah, “divided the nation on religious lines in just five years” – something Pakistan could not do in 70 years.
Rahul Gandhi was also in the state campaigning for the Congress. The opposition arranged its strategy to favour Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party.
The possibilities of the Congress, which is fighting on all 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 assembly seats, are uncertain as the people criticise the party for the bifurcation of Telangana.
In the 2014 elections, the Congress was effectively wiped out in the state, failing to win a single seat in parliament or the assembly.
But in the near absence of a BJP footprint in the state, the Congress decided to fight all 175 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats and the decision is expected to cut into the votes of Naidu’s biggest rival – the YSR Congress.
Gandhi’s promise to accord special category status to the state is also likely to add to Naidu’s appeal – unlike YSR Congress, Naidu and the Congress are allies at the national level.