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Ties with BJP over, no truck with Congress: TDP chief

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New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) Teleugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu today announced that he had snapped all his relations with the the BJP but would not enter into any electoral alliance with the Congress.

''My links with the BJP are over,'' Mr Naidu said, addressing a joint press conference with Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav at which the two leaders announced fresh efforts to revive the Third Front with the help of the Asom Gana Parishad, the AIADMK and the National Conference.

Pointing out that his party extended issue-based support to the previous BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre, he said he never compromised on secular issues.

''We opposed the NDA government on the Gujarat communal violence, we strongly differed with the BJP on secularism,'' Mr Naidu said, adding that his party only extended outside support to the NDA dispensation and never joined the government.

He said severing of all ties with the BJP was part of efforts to cobble together all secular forces and provide a national alternative to both, the Congress and the BJP.

The TDP chief, however, said he strongly supported the economic reforms. ''I not only supported the economic liberalisation but also ushered in the second generation reforms in the IT and telecom sectors in Andhra Pradesh.'' Mr Naidu also rubbished the contention that his party lost in the assembly elections because he tried to implement policies funded by the World Bank. ''The benefits of the IT revolution I brought in Andhra Pradesh were appreciated by the entire state,'' he said.

He, however, conceded that his government should have introduced more pro-poor and pro-farmer policies.

UNI SKS/NAZ PA BD2016

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