HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu revealed that he believes his rival YSR Reddy was a behind-the-scenes player in the assassination attempt that saw Naxals targeting his convoy in 2003. While there is no video proof of what exactly he told his party members in a brief, a news article on his comments was posted on Facebook by his party.
The post comes just ahead of the crucial election to the Andhra Pradesh legislature from the constituency of Nandyal, whose representative died in March. Naidu's comments came after his opponent Jagan Mohan Reddy said there would be nothing wrong if Naidu “were to be shot dead on the road”. He, however, withdrew his words following rebuke from the Election Commission, saying he had “been carried away” by emotions. Campaigning is in full heat, with both Reddy and Naidu throwing dirt at each other. “He is making promises only so that he can get your votes,” Reddy warned people of Nandyul at a meeting.
Naidu, meanwhile, has been losing his cool, twice snapping at questions put to him by voters. “You take pensions that we give you. You use the roads built by us. You take rations and other benefits, why should you not vote for us?” The constituency is not just a potential test of the CM's approval ratings, but also a chance at revenge for Reddy who lost 20 legislators. Reddy said that the result in Nandyal would also punish the Chief Minister for poaching. "He stole 20 of our MLAs. Why should I not call him a thief?'' he said recently, proving Nandyal is a fertile territory for political landmines, at least till campaigning ends.