Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and AICC president Rahul Gandhi conducted election rallies in Andhra Pradesh. The difference in their approaches is obvious in their speeches. PM Modi hauled his former ally, the ruling TDP over the coals. He elaborated on the help extended to AP by the Centre. And though he did not refer to the issue of Special Category Status to the state, he ridiculed Chandrababu Naidu for his many U-turns which caused irreparable damage to AP. He also tried to elucidate upon the funds released for Polavaram and the setting up for various central institutions in the state. PM Modi criticized the ruling TDP for rampant corruption. What did Rahul Gandhi do when it came to him? Why did he have to hold an election campaign in Vijayawada even when his party knew that it did not have much of a support base there? Rahul Gandhi, however, spend 90% of his time criticizing PM Modi.
This is something he does every day, but as in the recent past, he reiterated that the Congress if elected to power would grant Special Category Status to the state. By saying so, he spelt out what was no longer a secret—that the Congress and Telugu Desam have a covert pact or understanding. Rahul Gandhi did not touch upon Chandrababu Naidu’s governance over the five years. This was strange because only six months ago, the Congress party in AP had submitted a corruption chargesheet against Chandrababu Naidu and criticized him in very strong terms.
Congress MP KVP Ramachandra Rao spoke about corruption in Polavaram project and local Congress leaders slammed Chandrababu for irregularities and corruption in Amaravati lands. Congress leaders from Anantapur lambasted Chandrababu Naidu for the purchase of rain guns for the drought-prone area terming it as a major scam. Rahul Gandhi, however, remained unaffected by all these developments and seemed to have forgotten the many u-turns which the TDP supremo had taken. Congress leaders had once expressed their anger at the manner in which Chandrababu had made personal attacks against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. In his recent speeches, however, Rahul Gandhi did not criticize Chandrababu Naidu at any point but in fact, tried to please the TDP chief by making some critical statements about YSRCP president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. All this is after the alliance in Telangana between TDP and Congress turned out to be a disaster. Why is it that the two parties did not come together in Andhra Pradesh though the Congress had promised SCS to the state?
Rahul Gandhi did not spare Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, but at the same time seem to take a very charitable view of Chandrababu Naidu. This is an obvious example of the clandestine pact between TDP and Congress in AP and though Congress party workers are seething with resentment about this, they are powerless in the matter. This is a clear instance of immaturity on the part of AICC president Rahul Gandhi. Who would trust him in either AP or the nation at large when this is the brand of politics he subscribes to.