New Delhi, July 15: Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale invited Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy to join National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and to become the next Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Inviting Reddy to join, Athawale said that if he joins NDA, he will have the support of the Republican Party of India, to become the next CM after the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. Also Read - Union Minister Ramdas Athawale Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Addressing a press meet in Hyderabad, Athawale said, “If the BJP, Republican Party of India (RPI), of which I am the founder, and YSRCP contest the elections together both BJP and RPI would help make Jagan to become the CM of AP.” Also Read - After Paswan's Demise, Athawale Sole Representative of NDA Allies in Modi Government

The union minister also promised to speak to PM Narendra Modi for Andhra Pradesh’s special status if YSR joins NDA and said, “..he can also become the CM of AP with the support that we will provide from the NDA. I will also speak to PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah about special status for Andhra Pradesh.” Also Read - Hathras Gangrape Case: All Four Accused Should be Hanged, Says Union Minister Ramdas Athawale

“He was seeking special status for AP and it would have been probably granted. But now that he is no longer one of us, there will be no support from my party or me. I appeal to him to join the alliance, and then we will give him all our support,” he said, The New Indian Express reported.

Athawale also made an appeal to the incumbent Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to return to the NDA for the development of the state. Terming Naidu’s decision to quit the alliance as “hasty”, Athawale said that the CM would pay the price of the split in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. “Naidu can also reconsider his decision on supporting the NDA,” he said.

Reacting to Athawale’s invitation to Jaganmohan Reddy, state minister Nara Lokesh said, “Athawale’s comment about Jagan joining NDA is a trailer before the final film on the unholy alliance between YSRCP and BJP hits the theatres. People are no fools to sit quiet and watch Jagan placing Telugu pride on the feet of BJP bosses. They will flop the film in 2019!”