Politics

YSRCP's Local Body Poll Preparation Led to Covid-19 Surge in Andhra Pradesh: Chandrababu Naidu

YSRCP's Local Body Poll Preparation Led to Covid-19 Surge in Andhra Pradesh: Chandrababu Naidu

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday accused the YSRCP-led Andhra Pradesh government for a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases after the ruling party began campaigning for local body elections.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the southern state stand at 1,259. "The state's situation deteriorated ever since the State Election Commission gave a call for election preparedness despite nationwide lockdown in the midst of the pandemic outbreak," Naidu said in an open letter to people of the state.

Following this, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leaders began holding rallies, crowd-based gatherings and door delivery of benefits. Such open violations of lockdown coupled with the failure of official machinery led to the present non-stop rise in coronavirus cases in the state, he said.

Naidu appealed to the people of Andhra Pradesh to protect themselves by personally taking all possible preventive measures against the COVID-19 threat. Pointing out that the number of positive cases "doubled" in just a month's time in the state, the TDP chief attacked the ruling party for not taking either initiative or responsibility to strengthen the fight against the invisible enemy. Naidu said he was surprised that even in a time of extreme calamity, the YSRCP was looking for "political advantage" instead of focusing on public health and safety.

"The ruling party was only concerned with painting its flag colours on government buildings rather than speeding up virus tests and treatments," he said.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief said COVID-19 cases in Raj Bhavan and in a ruling party MP's family reflected the failure of the government.

"It was alarming that six members, including four doctors in the MP's family, tested positive, while several persons contracted the virus in Raj Bhavan," he said.

Naidu also alleged that negligence of ruling party leaders sent a wrong message which led to neighbouring states constructing walls on borders with Andhra Pradesh.

Telangana prevented Mahbubnagar people from going to virus-hit Kurnool, while Tamil Nadu blocked the inter-state highway to restrict people going there from Andhra Pradesh. All this was happening because of YSRCP's misplaced attention to shift the capital city in a time of serious steps required for virus containment, he said in the letter.

Stating that migrant workers were in a dire situation, the TDP chief deplored that construction workers, weavers, toddy tappers, fishermen, auto drivers, artisans and others dependent on small professions were facing severe hardships.

Anna canteens and Beema insurance would have given a lot of confidence to these workers in these troubled times, he added.