‘If you don’t like my govt., don’t take pension or use roads built by us’: Andhra CM to voters

Kurnool, AP: It’s my way or the highway for people in Andhra Pradesh if they don’t like chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s rule.
He asked people on June 22 not to travel on the roads built by his administration or forgo pensions given by his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government.
“You want to enjoy pensions given by me and travel on the roads built by my government. But you don’t want to vote for me. How is it justified?” he asked at a party function in Kurnool district’s Nandyal.
“If you don’t like my government, don’t take the pensions and don’t use the roads,” he said. The TDP president asked party leaders to demand votes from the people since the government was doing a lot for them.
“If they don’t vote for us, ask them why … even after getting so many benefits from us. I will not hesitate to ignore such villages that don’t vote for us.”
Naidu said he waived crop loans up to Rs 1.50 lakh of farmers, enhanced the pension for old people, the disabled and weaker sections from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 a month, and taken up several welfare and development programs.
“Why do you still crave for the money distributed by corrupt political leaders and vote for their parties? How can a 500- or 1,000-rupee note given by them change your fortune?” he asked.
The chief minister, known as Cyber Babu for ushering the IT revolution in Andhra Pradesh, was making a point against electoral corruption in which large amounts of ill-gotten cash are doled out to buy votes during elections.
“Some political parties are luring voters by distributing money, which they had earned through corrupt means. I, too, have the capacity to pay Rs 2,000 or even Rs 5,000 per vote to the people,” Naidu said.
“For that, I have to indulge in corrupt practices and loot 100 times more from the people. But I will not indulge in such corrupt politics.”
Electoral reforms in the world’s largest democracy are overdue and the Union government is making efforts to check the flow of unaccounted-for cash into the political system.
Before Naidu, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal made similar remarks on poll bribery.
The Aam Aadmi Party leader asked Goan voters before this year’s assembly polls to “accept money” offered by rival candidates, but vote only for his party.
“If Congress or BJP candidates offer money, do not refuse it. Accept it as it is your own money and there is nothing wrong in getting it back. If they do not offer money, go to their offices and ask for it,” he said.

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