Komineni Srinivasa Rao
It is widely known that change is the overriding principle which governs politics. There can be no greater illustration of this than the sensational remarks of former politbureau member of TDP, Motkupalli Narsimhulu. His rebellious temperament seems has helped him and at the same time, harmed him in the past.
Motkupalli's political career has always been driven by turbulence of some kind. While he joined TDP under NTR in 1983, six years later he won as a rebel candidate on an independent ticket. Motkupalli once again returned to the TDP fold in 1994 under NTR and became a minister. Importantly, he stood by NTR when Chandrababu dislodged him.
After NTR's death, Motkupalli joined the Congress along with others like Muddukrishnama Naidu and Devineni Nehru and became an MLA.However, he could not stay in the Congress party for long and returned to the TDP under Chandrababu Naidu.
Motkupalli continued from then on in the Telugu Desam and when Chandrababu went through difficult times at the time of the Telangana agitation, he stood by the party leader with unwavering loyalty.He was probably expecting a gubernatorial or Rajya Sabha seat to come his way, but that did not happen. It has been seen that from the time Motkupalli has been saying that the Telangana unit of TDP should be merged with the TRS, he has been distanced by the leadership.
Motkupalli's accusations against Chandrababu Naidu are very serious in nature. He sketched the entire scene of NTR being overthrown by Chandrababu in a vivid manner. It was a sequence straight out of a movie in the way he narrated it. Motkupalli's voice quivered with emotion as he narrated how NTR's reaction at that time. Interestingly, at a time when Chandrababu Naidu and Balakrishna garlanded NTR's image, implying that they are the rightful inheritors of the actor-founder's legacy, Motkupalli, by drawing a graphic picture of the chain of events in the 'coup' led by NTR's son-in-law, has caused huge embarrassment to the AP Chief Minister.The former minister and politbureau member accused Chandrababu Naidu of being the cause for NTR's death. This is not something stated by Leader of the Opposition in AP, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, but by one of Chandrababu's close former associates, who also enjoyed great proximity to NTR. Therefore, it assumes great significance.
Why did Motkupalli remain silent all these years? Is it because he has been denied a Rajya Sabha seat by Chandrababu? His dissatisfaction led Motkupalli to make a slew of allegations against Chandrababu. He pointed out how he sold Rajya Sabha seats for hundreds of crores and the manner in which Chandrababu spent crores of rupees to construct a house in Hyderabad. Motkupalli's reference to the Note-for-Votes case alleging that both Revanth Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu stand accused in it and the way in which he prodded Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to act in this case, are among his sensational statements which would have become a hot topic of debate in the entire Telugu society.
Motkupalli also referred to Chandrababu's criticism of PM Modi, in contrast to the praise he showered him earlier. When it comes to the AP CM's U-turns, he cited the example of how Chandrababu took all the credit for demonetisation earlier and now slammed PM Modi for this measure. Giving yet another example of Chandrababu's opportunism, he described how he used and discarded members of NTR's family. Though his remarks may not have come up for discussion at Mahanadu, it is very likely that TDP workers there would have discussed the issue among themselves. However, the fact that no one in the TDP can muster the courage to question Chandrababu, shows the complete state of decline when it comes to internal democracy in TDP.
Motkupalli also pointed out that YS Jagan was thoughtful enough to say that his party would rename Krishna district after NTR. Citing this instance, he said Chandrababu should be ashamed of himself. He slammed Chandrababu in particular, for his comment questioning whether anyone would like to be born in a Dalit family.
Motkupalli's criticism of Chandrababu shows how things play out when things take a turn for the worse in politics. From the time that YSRCP MPs decided to move a No-trust vote in the Lok Sabha, the AP CM's decisions have boomeranged on him. His decision to distance himself from the BJP, actor and Jana Sena founder Pawan Kalyan's rebellion, in a sense, retired judge, Justice Easwariah's disclosure that Chandrababu had blocked the elevation of two judges belonging to BC communities, the judge's statement that Chandrababu enjoys close proximity to Supreme Court judge, the TTD head priest Ramana Deekshitulu's sensational allegations on the disappearance of items of Lord Venkateswara's jewellery in the shrine and Chandrababu's attempts to create a rift in the Brahmin community. These are among some of the developments which have impacted Chandrababu negatively. Seen in this light, Motkupalli's accusations would have a serious bearing on how things play out, especially in Andhra Pradesh.
TDP finds itself cornered after this attack by a politbureau member, especially in the wake of repeated allegations of U-turns, betrayals and corruption made by the opposition against Chandrababu.
The AP CM got TDP MLA Sandra Veeraiah to criticise Motkupalli, in which there is nothing to refute the allegations he made. TDP is likely to find itself in a spot of bother not just with the Dalit segments of society, but other sections, as well, following Motkupalli's call to vote for YSRCP or Pawan Kalyan or the left parties, in effect, anyone but TDP.