Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu starts his day by criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and Leader of the Opposition in Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly and YSR Congress Party President, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

His virulent criticism seems to have crossed all limits of political decorum in recent days. Chandrababu Naidu seems to have forgotten his much-touted seniority and age from the way he has been conducting himself.

It would be correct to say that no chief minister in the past had stooped to such levels of political opportunism and expediency. No other chief minister had ever lowered the level of political discourse to the extent that Chandrababu has.

Sample the TDP chief's latest dialogue: “What do Modi, KCR and Jagan intend to do? Burn down the state?” What does one make of such a statement from the Chief Minister? Is it an expression of his frustration or a reflection of his desperate attempt to incite people for his own political gain? Either way, it deserves to be condemned strongly.

Is it proper on the part of a political leader who claims he has 40 years of experience in public life and is about 70 years old to indulge in such loose talk? Ideally, Chandrababu Naidu should pray for the welfare of Andhra Pradesh no matter who leads the state.

There is nothing wrong in wanting to be re-elected, but to claim that the state would burn if he does not come back to power should be seen as an objectionable remark. Is this what Chandrababu wants? Will he be happy if the state burns?

For a period of four and a half years now, Chandrababu and Narendra Modi have been allies. Should we assume that both of them together destroyed the state? The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister points a finger at PM Modi saying that he has not done anything for the state.

Setting aside the veracity of the statement, the one clear point that emerges from this is that both Chandrababu and Modi have indeed betrayed the interests of the state.

Chandrababu made a similar statement about Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.

If KCR is the sort of leader who wants to go destroy Andhra Pradesh, why did the TDP supremo crave for an alliance with the TRS? Did he not broach the subject of an alliance with TRS when the Telangana chief minister came to pay respects to Chandrababu’s brother-in-law, Harikrishna who died in an accident on the outskirts of Hyderabad? Did he not plead with KCR for a pact between the TDP and TRS for Telangana elections?

Moreover, if KCR is a leader with a destructive bent of mind as claimed by the TDP supremo, why did the people of Telangana re-elect him? Why did the voters of Kukatpally reject Chandrababu Naidu‘s close relative in a clear message to the TDP? Should we conclude then that Chandrababu Naidu and the Congress were planning to destroy the interests of Telangana?

Chandrababu puts forth strange logic. All is well if he and Narendra Modi are together. But, if things go wrong then the state could burn! If the TDP has a pact with the TRS, all is well. Otherwise, the state could burn. This is his weird logic.

Chandrababu’s diabolical bent of mind gives credence to the allegations at that time that the TDP indulged in low-level politics when it was in the opposition. When Paritala Ravi was murdered, TDP activists and workers competed with one another to burn down RTC buses indiscriminately in undivided Andhra Pradesh. It was rumoured then that district activists fanned out from the TDP office to burn RTC buses.

It was in Chandrababu’s tenure that a train near Tuni was burnt. Should we then assume that such acts of wanton destruction take place under Chandrababu Naidu? When the Tuni incident took place, instead of ordering and monitoring firefighting services, Chandrababu Naidu held a media conference to blame the opposition! One could call that as a classic instance of Nero fiddling while Rome was burning!

What did Chandrababu Naidu do after the Tuni incident? He got leaders from the Kapu community arrested in the case apart from leaders of the opposition. All of them say in one voice that it was TDP men who indulged in this wanton act of arson and then implicated them.

We have also seen how the crops of farmers who did not give their lands for the construction of the new capital, were burnt. Chandrababu Naidu blamed the opposition for that act of arson as well. What does one assume when one sees that the TDP government has still not been able to establish the real culprits in the case!

On the other hand, have YSR Congress party leaders or activists never resorted to such acts anywhere? They carried out peaceful protests, but never took to violence. There is only one explanation for this pattern that one finds in Chandrababu Naidu‘s behaviour. It is he and his men who indulge in such acts and then blame others.

Chandrababu Naidu should take elections in the right spirit and hope and pray for the welfare of the people of Andhra Pradesh. To say that the state would burn if he does not come back to power is a reflection of his state of mind.

No leader stays in power forever and therefore it would be prudent on Chandrababu Naidu’s part to try to be more dignified in politics and public discourse. Perhaps, that would be expecting too much from him.

Also Read: Data Theft Case: Chandrababu’s U-Turn Again