The Bharatiya Janata Party and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu traded barbs at each other on Wednesday as latter accused the BJP of "mud-slinging" and said the Centre was trying to "damage his credibility" ever since his party began the fight for special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
As soon as Naidu made the remarks, the BJP fielded Union minister Prakash Javadekar to counter him.
Accompanied by state BJP chief K Hari Babu and party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member G V L Narasimha Rao, Javadekar dismissed Naidu's allegations as "ridiculous."
The HRD minister cited a number of projects linked to IIT, Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy, IIIT and AIIMS, among others, besides the central work on the Polavaram project to claim that the Modi government's commitment to the state's development was firm.
He noted that party chief Amit Shah had in a letter to Naidu listed a number of projects which the Centre had granted to the state.
Asked about Naidu's charges against the Centre, he said they were frivolous. "No one will believe them."
He also termed Naidu's claim that the BJP was getting close to the YSR Congress, the TDP's main rival in the state, as "ridiculous".
On the Andhra Pradesh chief minister's comments that the TDP would have fared better in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections if it had not allied with the BJP, he made light of his claim, noting that Modi was a big factor then. "If there was no Modi or the BJP, where the TDP would be," he said.
"There should be a limit to political acrimony. He is doing politics over the matter of development. He should not go to the extent of saying that the BJP is attacking Andhra," Javadekar said.
The Modi government has been "magnanimous" to the state to the extent that many states have asked it why it was giving so much to one state, he said.
To a question about the BJP's prospects in the state if the TDP and the YSR Congress, the two parties which have moved separate notices of no-confidence motion against the Union government in the Lok Sabha, fought against it, Javadekar said the BJP on its own had fetched over 18 per cent votes in the 1998 Lok Sabha polls.