US envoy paid only a courtesy call, says TDPMay 14th, 2009 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, May 14 (IANS) US Charge d’Affaires A. Peter Burleigh met Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu only in a courtesy call and politics was not discussed in their meeting, the TDP clarified here Thursday.
TDP’s organising secretary Ram Mohan Rao denied reports in a section of the media that the US envoy urged Naidu not to support a government-led by the Left parties during Tuesday’s meeting.
“Our party has principles. We take our own decisions and we don’t follow the diktats of others on issues like extending support to any party,” he told reporters.
TDP is part of the Third Front led by the Left parties that have accused the US of meddling in India’s internal affairs after Burleigh met Naidu, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani and Praja Rajyam party chief and actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi.
The meetings came days ahead of the Lok Sabha election results Saturday.
Chiranjeevi said the US envoy discussed with him various issues including politics and the India-US relations. He said Burleigh evinced interest in Andhra Pradesh politics.
The US official wanted to know from Chiranjeevi as to how he conducted his campaign and the prospects of his party in the elections.
Praja Rajyam sources, however, denied that the US envoy advised Chiranjeevi not to support a coalition led by the Communists.
Chiranjeevi was surprised when the US official spoke about the caste equations in the state and Burleigh also briefed the PRP leader of US government policies to promote ties with India, according to the party sources.
Chiranjeevi requested the diplomat to convey his compliments to President Barack Obama on completing 100 days in office last month, they said.
During his visit, the US diplomat had also called on Governor Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Andhra Pradesh assembly speaker K.R. Suresh Reddy and Chief Secretary Ramakanth Reddy. He could not meet Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who was away to Bangalore.
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