In a surprise development, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy had sent a letter to former chief minister, TDP president and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu. The minister did not invite Chandrababu Naidu for the meeting to be held at Bhimavaram in West Godavari district in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be participating on July 4.
The letter tried to communicate to Chandrababu Naidu about the celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of revolutionary freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju all through the year. It also had a mention of the unveiling of the statue of Sitarama Raju at Bhimavaram by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The letter further said that the 125th birth anniversary of Sitarama Raju would be celebrated all through the year jointly by the Union Ministry of Tourism and Culture along with AP Government’s Ministry of Tourism.
However, instead of requesting Chandrababu Naidu to participate in the celebrations, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy had asked him to depute one of his representatives to be present in the meeting at Bhimavaram on July 4. It also wanted Chandrababu Naidu and TDP support in the year-long birth anniversary celebrations of Alluri.
The BJP justified the letter stating that it was sent to the TDP chief as Leader of Opposition in AP government and not as former chief minister or the TDP chief. BJP AP general secretary Vishnuvardhan Reddy justified the Central government’s letter on the ground that official invitations were sent to the people who are part of the State and the Central governments.
An invitation was sent to K Chiranjeevi as he was the minister for tourism and culture at the Centre in the past. However, no such invitation was sent so far to Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, though he is part of the BJP-led alliance in Andhra Pradesh.