N. Chandrababu Naidu hits out at Jagan at TDP's first-ever virtual 'Mahanadu'

For the first time in its history, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Wednesday held its annual conclave 'Mahanadu' in online mode with party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu addressing 14,000 participants through Zoom video conferencing platform, to target Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for "misrule" during the last one year.

The ongoing coronavirus-induced lockdown forced the regional party to go for a virtual 'Mahanadu', a first in the party's history.

The two-day conclave began with party's national president Naidu unfurling the party flag at its headquarters in Mangalagiri and paying tributes to N.T. Rama Rao, the legendary actor-turned-politician who had floated TDP in 1982 on the slogan of 'Telugu self-respect' and made a record by leading the party to power within nine months in the then undivided Andhra Pradesh.

In a move to adhere to social distancing norms, tech-savvy Chandrababu Naidu decided to use Zoom, a video conferencing app, to address the participants in both Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and also its workers settled abroad.

The party has also made arrangements for another 10,000 people to watch the event live on YouTube and Facebook.

TDP leaders said they became the first political party in the country to use technology on such a scale to hold the conference with such a large participation of party leaders and workers.

Chandrababu Naidu, the party's Andhra Pradesh unit president Kala Venkat Rao, some politburo members and key leaders were present at the TDP headquarters in Mangalagiri while all other leaders and workers were taking part in the deliberations from their houses through Zoom.

Every year 'Mahanadu' is held for three days, coinciding with party founder N.T. Rama Rao's birth anniversary on May 28. However, this time the event has been curtailed to two days due to lockdown.

Last year, the party could not organize the conclave due to elections, which saw the party losing power in Andhra Pradesh to YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).

Setting the tone for the deliberations, Chandrababu Naidu slammed YSRCP government led by Jagan Mohan Reddy for its misrule during the last one year. He alleged that democracy is in danger in the state due to rule of anarchy.

He called upon the TDP cadres in both the Telugu states to strengthen the party organization and continue the struggle for the party's ideals.

Chandrababu Naidu claimed that the TDP's struggle in Andhra Pradesh is to save democracy. He said many TDP leaders and activists made sacrifices in this struggle during the last one year. "Many laid down their lives while others were implicated in false cases. They suffered physically, mentally and financially. Their sacrifices will not go in vain," he said.

Pointing out that TDP was in power for 22 years and in opposition for 16 years, Naidu said whether in power or in opposition, it always worked for the people.

He slammed Jagan government for what he called muzzling the voice of dissent and cited the cases of Dr Sudhakar, who was suspended from government service, arrested and humiliated for speaking over shortage of personal protection equipment for doctors treating Covid-19 patients and Ranganayakamma, a 66-year-old woman arrested for questioning the government over gas leak from LG Polymers in Visakhapatnam.

Chandrababu Naidu also lambasted the YSRCP government for dumping Amaravati as the state capital though the TDP government had developed it as a brand and attracted the world's attention. He said the Jagan government pushed the state into problems by "killing Amaravati" and mooting the idea of three capitals.

The TDP chief also trained guns on the government for stopping the works on Polavaram project by cancelling the contracts.

The Mahanadu will pass resolutions on various issues, including economy, politics, Amaravati, Polavaram, farmers, price rise and corruption.

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