If Modi Is A Publicity PM, What Is Chandrababu?

Narendra Modi, Chandrababu Naidu - Sakshi Post

Y. Satyanarayana

Irony died a million deaths at Mamata Banerjee’s rally in Kolkata showcasing opposition unity, when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said that Narendra Modi is a publicity Prime Minister and the country needs a performing PM. Yes, you could do a double take on that. Was he talking about himself as CM, in a moment of introspection? What can be more ironic than Chandrababu describing Narendra Modi or any other leader for that matter, as a publicity figure!

In his four and a half years of governance, Chandrababu Naidu as chief minister, has done little for the state except make his tenure synonymous with non-performance, inviting the gravest charges of corruption. The king of graphics that he is, he unleashes his select yellow media outlets on viewers of the Telugu states, to keep his propaganda machine rolling. “Watch out Modi,” screamed the headline in one newspaper, a day after Mamata Banerjee's opposition rally. These are the same media machines which hailed PM Modi as the greatest political statesman, as they were asked to parrot by Chandrababu, not too long ago, but we will save that for another day.

If Chandrababu Naidu is indeed a 'performing' chief minister, why do we find nothing but weeds around the foundation stone in Amaravati laid by PM Modi? What happened to all the funds given by the Centre to build what he called, a Singapore-like city with global facilities? When will all the buildings which he tends to show in his presentations take shape on the ground? What answers does he have to serious charges of corruption raised by CAG against the AP government, in yearly reports since he took office? Why did this so called ‘performing’ chief minister send everyone on a wild goose chase when it came to the location of the capital city—to Nuzvid, Nagarjuna University region and finally quietly settle for Amaravati? Who benefited the most in the process?

Unanswered Questions

What happened to his promise on Polavaram project? Does he want us to believe that it took off by 2018? Does he really want the people of the state to believe that it has been completed? Is this a measure of the 'performance' he wants to showcase? These and many more such questions have been raised repeatedly in an independent section of the media, though the others are largely controlled by the Big Brother of the Yellow-shirted brigade. Neither he nor any members of his ‘performing’ Cabinet have ever ventured to answer, because they know only too well that they would end up with egg on their faces.

Why did he suddenly turn against institutions of the Centre such as Income Tax department, Enforcement Directorate and CBI? Add the premier investigating organization, National Investigation Agency (NIA) to that list after it came into the picture in the murder attempt on Leader of Opposition in AP, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at the Visakhapatnam airport on October 25, 2018.

Neither Chandrababu Naidu nor his party men have an answer on why they need to fear the CBI, ED, IT or the NIA unless they have something to hide. The problem is that the more you try to push things under the carpet, the more they stick out. Our self-styled ‘performing’ chief minister, faces this complex problem, apart from a host of other thorny issues which rip the mask of transparency off the TDP supremo's face. He seems to be completely blind to this though. A case of the Emperor's new clothes.

Pervasive TDP Corruption Highlighted By YS Jagan

The YSR Congress party president, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy during the course of his historic Padayatra through AP, has highlighted every single issue which is riddled with corruption in Chandrababu Naidu’s government. These ranged from non-delivery of most of his election promises made in 2014, including betrayal of the commitment to waive farmers’ loans and those of DWCRA groups, watering down of the prestigious healthcare initiatives, Arogyasri and fee reimbursement scheme, corruption related to the location of Amaravati as the state capital, venality in multiple irrigation projects, among many others. YS Jagan at public meetings and smaller interactions during the course of his Praja Sankalpa Yatra, exposed Chandrababu Naidu’s misrule and how he had institutionalised corruption down to village level Janmabhoomi committee members.

Seen against the serious charges of corruption against him, observers say that Chandrababu Naidu’s rant against graft in the Rafale deal should make even those accused of the worst wrongdoing and malfeasance, blush. Analysts point out that one often uses the saying, “devil quoting the scriptures”, but seldom did it seem more relevant than his wild accusations on Saturday at the Kolkata rally.

Chandrababu Naidu knows better than anyone else in public life today about the worth and value of publicity. With the flick of his fingers he set in motion a massive propaganda blitz to the extent of covering buses in distant Amaravati about the relief measures the TDP government had taken with respect to victims of Titli cyclone in remote Srikakulam. The reality on the ground, as experienced by the TDP supremo himself, was hardly in sync with what the hoardings and advertisements stated. This was pointed out by YS Jagan on several occasions when his Padayatra was moving through the districts of Northern Andhra Pradesh.

Ostrich-like

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Chandrababu Naidu's image has largely been created by a massive propaganda machine. If there is one politician today among regional leaders in the country who lives off the media, or is a creature of the media, it is Chandrababu, it is often said. He repeats ad nauseam that he built Cyberabad, a claim which was nailed hard and exposed by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao more than once. But, Chandrababu Naidu will continue to repeat it with Goebbelsian monotony. He tells us similar tall tales about Amaravati. He claims he is out to 'save' democracy in this country. Isn't his own party a one-man show? Has he not made sure that Janmabhoomi committees, totally extra-constitutional in nature, override Panchayats at the grassroots level? Why are funds denied to constituencies in AP represented by opposition MLAs? Is this Chandrababu Naidu's vision of democracy? The thing about him is that he is ostrich-like in his behaviour. He buries his head in the sand when he comes under flak or is grilled in this fashion.

The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister tends to spout jargon or make outlandish claims, intending perhaps, to befuddle his audience. The latest instance, (citing one would be enough on this score), is his recent claim that every home in Amaravati would be provided with air-conditioning in the manner of piped gas and other amenities! Yes, you could do a double take on that.

One can cite a laundry list of issues on which the Chandrababu-led TDP government has proved to be in non-performing one. Worse, it has been described as an extremely corrupt government in many circles. Numerous scams have come tumbling out of the TDP closet and CAG reports have flagged these. Chandrababu Naidu has some audacity to claim that he is a 'performing' leader when, for the most part, he has been a manager, as KCR described him. A manager with very good skills of publicity and self-promotion. The 'performing' chief minister suddenly seems to have realized the power of social media and news outlets other than his favourite ones. It is no longer easy for him to trumpet his achievements, and this seems to be a cause for concern and worry in him. The minute he tries to sell tall tales, he is exposed in the social media or an independent section of news organisations. Chandrababu's frustration probably explains his increasingly outlandish claims, such as air-conditioning in every Amaravati home, or mineral water across the state! Should we call this state 'reality of illusion' or 'illusion of reality'. Or should we leave that to psycho-analysts?

Also Read: Absurd Propaganda, A Sign Of Heightened Frustration In Chandrababu

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