At the centenary celebrations of TDP founder and former chief minister N. T. Rama Rao, Rajinikanth praised former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. This caused anger among Andhra Pradesh ministers and leaders of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). Tourism minister R.K. Roja called Rajinikanth’s comments ridiculous, while Water Resources Minister Ambati Rambabu described him as a “coward”. YSRCP leader Kodali Nani also criticized Rajinikanth, saying that he may be a hero in Tamil Nadu, but he is a zero in Andhra Pradesh.
During his speech, Rajinikanth praised Naidu’s vision and the progress achieved by Hyderabad during his time as chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh. However, Roja reminded him that Hyderabad had seen development without Naidu in the last 20 years. The YSRCP leaders also criticized Rajinikanth for supporting Naidu when he removed his father-in-law NTR from power in 1995.
Despite the criticism, Rajinikanth continued to praise Naidu, calling him a visionary. He said that Naidu’s plan to develop Andhra Pradesh with a Vision 2047 would take the state to great heights in the country in the coming years. Rajinikanth also mentioned how Naidu spoke about the Information Technology (IT) industry boom in the late 1990s when no one had even thought about it. He claimed that business tycoons like Bill Gates appreciated Naidu and then set up their companies in Andhra Pradesh.
In conclusion, Rajinikanth prayed for the almighty to give Naidu the strength and power to implement his vision for Andhra Pradesh.