Amaravati, Jan (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday lashed out at Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N. Chandrababu Naidu over the death of 11 people in two stampede incidents during the last one week.
He flayed the former Chief Minister for refusing to own responsibility for Sunday's stampede at Guntur that led to the death of three women.
Addressing a huge public meeting in Rajamahendravaram, he blamed Naidu for the Guntur tragedy and called him a deceiver, who sheds crocodile tears.
Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged the publicity-crazy Naidu is drawing pleasure by conducting meetings and road shows in congested areas for photo shoots and drone footage and thereby, causing stampedes and allowing people to die.
Eight people were killed in stampede during Naidu's road show in Kandukur on December 28 while three women died in another similar incident during distribution of Sankranti gifts in Guntur on January 1. The programme was organised by a charity organisation and it was inaugurated by Naidu.
He recalled that in 2015, Naidu had escaped responsibility after the unfortunate death of 29 people during the Godavari Pushkaralu stampede.
"We still haven't forgotten cold-hearted Chandrababu Naidu's statement where he had compared the Pushkaralu tragedy with Kumbh Mela and said, didn't people die in Kumbh Mela?" said Jagan Mohan Reddy.
"How can people trust a person who is accused of killing his own father-in-law to satisfy his power lust," asked the Chief Minister referring to the death of former Chief Minister and TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao a few months after Naidu led a revolt against him in 1995.
The YSRCP chief also slammed Naidu's friendly media for what he called biased coverage. He questioned why the yellow media and TDP ally Pawan Kalyan were silent on the death of 11 innocents.
"Why haven't they dared to question the TDP which organised the event? Why is no one seeking accountability from Naidu? Naidu may have the support of yellow media and some crony capitalists but I have your support. I respect your belief in me. I believe in the love and support of SC, ST, BCs, minorities, and all other communities," he said.
Attacking the TDP chief on multiple counts, the CM said during his tenure from 2014 to 2019, Naidu cheated everyone. "Be it farmers, unemployed youth, women, or government employees, all were deceived by his manifesto, which he threw in the dustbin right after resuming power. In fact, the TDP was so scared that their lies would be exposed that they removed their manifesto from their website fearing a backlash from the people."
The Chief Minister appealed to people to see the "qualitative difference" between the present YSRCP government which has been steadfastly implementing welfare schemes as per its election manifesto with the previous TDP government that ditched every section of society.
He formally launched the hiked social pension. The pension has been increased to Rs 2,750 from Rs 2,500 a month.
People should see the difference between his welfare governance that has been disbursing monthly pensions ranging from Rs 2,750 to Rs 10,000 to different sections of people and the TDP rule that allowed Janma Bhoomi Committees to fix rates for disbursing welfare benefits, he said.
"While every section of society including women, BCs, SCs and STs suffered miserably as the TDP rule, aided by its friendly media, pursued the policy of plunder, stash and devour, now almost all sections of the society including fishermen, handloom workers, toddy-toppers and even the patients undergoing kidney dialysis are happy with the hiked pensions on which the government has so far spent Rs 62,500 crore," he said.
The Chief Minister said while the number of pensioners went up to 64 lakhs in YSRCP government from 39 lakh in TDP rule, the monthly pension bill also saw a steep hike from Rs 400 crore during the TDP rule to Rs 1,765 crore at present resulting in an annual pension expenditure of Rs 21,180 crore.
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