All Party Meet: Orwellian World Of Chandrababu Naidu 

Chandrababu Naidu - Sakshi Post

Y. Satyanarayana

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu lives in a rarefied bubble for the most part. The latest instance of his attempt to fool the world at large by calling for an all-party meeting the other day, is yet another instance of his smart Alecky political cheekiness. Didn’t the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister know that the other political parties in the state would not attend his last minute patch-up effort, if one were to stretch one's imagination to call it that, pretending to take on the Centre? This, as we know, is a rhetorical question. No one knows better than the AP chief minister where he stands with the opposition. After all, it is a narrative he constructed from the time he came to power.

For the past few years, Chandrababu Naidu has behaved like an autocrat ignoring the opposition, trampling over its rights and prodding his ministers to do so. Today, ironically he calls himself a "saviour" of democracy, after having subverted all democratic institutions and norms. Does he have an answer to the brazen manner in which he lured 23 MLAs from the YSRCP into the ruling TDP? Worse, he made four turncoat MLAs ministers in his cabinet. Do these actions of his come across as an example of a democratic leader?

Has the Andhra Pradesh chief minister ever bothered to listen to the voice of the opposition in the assembly? In fact, he did everything within his means to silence the opposition. In the process, he lowered the dignity of the assembly and the democratic values it represented. In this systematic undermining of democratic norms, Chandrababu was egged on by his cabinet colleagues and party leaders. It was only when Chandrababu Naidu and his TDP ministers crossed all limits of parliamentary ethics and democratic principles, that the YSR Congress party led by Leader of Opposition, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, decided to boycott the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. Confronted by an undemocratic leader of the House in the form of the chief minister, who used every unconstitutional trick known to him to undermine the role of the opposition, the YSRCP quite rightly decided to take the matter to the people directly.

If luring YSR Congress party MLAs to his fold represents one aspect of his undemocratic style of functioning, denying funds to constituencies represented by opposition MLAs, shows the other end of the unconstitutional methods employed by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. Allocating funds to such constituencies represented by opposition MLAs to TDP functionaries by issuing GOs, bypassing the constitutional route, is something only Chandrababu Naidu can come up with.

The self-professed “saviour” of democracy that he is, Chandrababu Naidu imposed Janmabhoomi committees in villages across the state, rendering democratically elected Sarpanches powerless. There have been many instances reported in an independent section of the media showing how the power to sign cheques has been denied to duly elected Sarpanches. This has been the case with regard to pensions in villages across the state of Andhra Pradesh. Beneficiaries seen as supporters of YSR Congress party, have been systematically denied pensions on one pretext or the other, in most cases, with the intervention of Janmabhoomi committees. Their only fault—they were suspected by the ruling party of being supporters or sympathisers of the YSRCP.

With elections barely 2 to 3 months away, and with all polls and surveys predicting a sweep for the YSRCP, Chandrababu Naidu is desperately attempting to look like a man of consensus. Even in this half-baked attempt, he fails to see that mere words and tokenism cannot take a government far either in the eyes of the public or other parties. The temerity of the TDP to call for an all-party meet after the way it has thumbed its nose at the role of opposition parties in a democratic set up, is amusing, to say the least. Chandrababu Naidu needs to step back for a moment to introspect and reflect on how he and his party men have behaved towards the opposition, most importantly the biggest bloc in the assembly in the Opposition, the YSRCP.

For his intransigence, arrogance, inflexibility and systematic, devious subversion of democratic values and institutions, Chandrababu Naidu was roundly snubbed by all opposition parties when he convened an all-party meet. He needs to understand that you cannot play democrat when you have all along behaved like an uncontrolled autocrat. Chandrababu needs to look at himself in the mirror to come to terms with the Orwellian bubble he lives in.

Also Read: Kanna Puns On Kia To Nail Chandrababu’s Claims On Car Giant’s India Plant In AP

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