Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said he would provide 8 per cent reservation to Muslims in local as well as general elections, jobs and higher education.

Mr. Naidu’s latest sop comes on a day when he completed 2,000 km as part of ‘Vastunna Meekosam’ padayatra here.

Addressing a roadside meeting at NTR Statue Centre, Mr. Naidu said he would provide Rs.5 lakh interest-free loan to poor Muslims who wanted to set up industries.

He said Muslim youngsters have been forced to do low-paying jobs such as automobile mechanics.

The Telugu Desam supremo reiterated that he would provide 50 per cent reservation to the Backward Classes in all legislative bodies and announced that he would take measures to provide reservations to upper castes.

Wearing a skull cap in the Muslim-dominated Old Town area, Mr. Naidu, flanked by former MP Lal Jan Basha and MLA Sk. Ziaudddin, reiterated that the first signature he would make after returning to power would be on the file waiving crop loans.

The second signature would be eradication of belt shops, the third on diversion of Krishna waters to meet drinking water requirements in Guntur and the fourth on developing Guntur-Vijayawada as twin cities and creating an IT hub between the two cities.

Flays Sakshi

Mr. Naidu made serious allegations against Sakshi newspaper calling it a ‘visha kanya,’ (poisonous maiden), spewing venom on its way.

Faults Chiru

In an interesting comment, Mr. Naidu blamed K. Chiranjeevi for spoiling the chances of the TDP in the 2009 elections. “Had not the Praja Rajyam been in the fray, the TDP would have come to power,” he said.

He also turned his ire towards Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy accusing the latter of protecting tainted Ministers and corrupt industrialists.

The TDP president said that while he had come out unscathed during investigations into the allegations of corruption levelled against him during 2004-2009 by his adversaries, the Congress leaders had been framed by the CBI and the courts for their corrupt deals.