Nara Chandrababu Naidu‘s son launched an impassioned defence of the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister on Friday, telling NDTV “I should call for a civil war against the corrupt regime (of the ruling YSR Congress)”. Mr Naidu’s son, Nara Lokesh, insisted his father – a “politician without corruption allegations” – had been sent to remand “without any proof”.
Mr Naidu was arrested over an alleged Rs 371 crore scam involving the state’s skill development corporation and sent to the Rajahmundry Jail for two weeks under judicial custody. The Telugu Desam Party boss’ arrest has roiled Andhra Pradesh politics ahead of Assembly and Lok Sabha elections due next year.
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely… and corrupt people put honest people behind bars. That is exactly what is happening in Andhra Pradesh,” Mr Lokesh told NDTV in Delhi this afternoon as he emphasised his father’s “stellar record” as Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
“If you read any of the remand reports it is very clear there is no money trail… because Mr Naidu has not done anything wrong. It is quite clear this is vendetta politics…” he lashed out at Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
In the national capital to gather support for his father, Mr Lokesh said he intends to fight accusations through every available legal option. “Justice is being delayed but justice cannot be denied.”
“Mr Naidu has a stellar record… he has been CM for 15 years and LoP for another 15. He has an amazing track record… a politician without corruption allegations and such an honest person, without any proof is being sent to judicial remand…”
Mr Lokesh called on “all Indians to rally behind Mr Naidu”.
The Jana Sena Alliance
On Thursday actor-politician Pawan Kalyan said his Jana Sena had allied with Mr Naidu’s TDP and hit out at the Chief Minister and his government. “This is not about our (his party’s) political future… but the future of Andhra Pradesh,” he said, flanked by Mr Lokesh and TDP MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna, who is Mr Naidu’s brother-in-law.
Mr Lokesh welcomed the alliance and pointed to the irony of the two leaders meeting in the administrative block of the Rajahmundry Jail, which was built by Mr Naidu when he was Chief Minister.
“It was unfortunate to see him there… that brought the two leaders together.”
“Pawanji was stopped from entering Andhra (he was taken into preventive custody on Sunday en route to meet Mr Naidu) and when I was doing padyatra they obstructed me. Now I think time has come to pretty much… I should call for a civil war…”
The terms of the Jana Sena-TDP alliance are unclear given the former is also a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, and the BJP and TDP don’t exactly have the best of relations.
On INDIA Support
Meanwhile, Mr Lokesh also welcomed support from the 28-member INDIA alliance, many members of which have backed Chandrababu Naidu even though the TDP is not part of the bloc.
“Support of INDIA means a lot… Mr Naidu has an amazing credibility built over not one or two days but 42 years… and it pains me that a leader with this kind of credibility, on a false allegation, is today in judicial remand,” his son said.