Chandrababu’s Chameleon Politics

Chandrababu Naidu - Sakshi Post

Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

Chandrababu and the TDP's chameleon -like politics came to the fore yet again on the issue of simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and assemblies. For TDP watchers there is nothing new since this has been the pattern in recent years.

In the past, Chandrababu Naidu was all for simultaneous elections. His stand was that with elections done and dusted, the government can then focus on administration. Suddenly, he seems to have made a U-turn on the issue. The TDP has now sent an official communication to the Law Commission opposing the idea of simultaneous polls.

This inexplicable change seems to have come about in four months. AP's Finance Minister, Y. Ramakrishnudu, came out with a significant statement. He called Modi and Amit Shah as dangerous forces and also alleged that no one had in the past, schemed and conspired in the way Modi did. TDP leaders seem to have forgotten that Chandrababu did not see the conspirator in Amit Shah a year ago, when he flew the BJP president down from Hyderabad to the AP capital in a special aircraft and hosted a lunch for him!

Ramakrishnudu's statement suggests that the TDP finds nothing wrong in the 40-year Congress rule and did not fault it on any count. It appears as if the TDP is issuing a testimonial to the Congress saying that it was not involved in any conspiracy during this long spell. It would be pertinent to recall what the TDP leaders used to say of the Congress earlier. They would describe Congress as a wicked force, Sonia Gandhi as head of a mafia from Italy who was responsible for gross injustice to Andhra Pradesh, among other things.

However, everything seems to have changed in a span of three months. Congress suddenly appears to be a better choice than the BJP. The TDP's earlier stand justifying the jail sentence to Sasikala in Tamil Nadu and Lalu Yadav in Bihar, also seems to have changed.

TDP leaders now cite them as examples of Modi's conspiratorial politics. Ramakrishnudu added that the country was watching how the BJP and Modi were treating Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar in Bihar, Sasikala in Tamil Nadu, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi and TDP in AP. What does this mean? Clearly, it suggests that there is a pattern in sending one leader to prison, while drawing the other closer to itself in Bihar and Tamil Nadu.

It is equally obvious that the TDP is resorting to pre-emptive propaganda fearing cases against its leaders, though it is unclear what incriminating information the Centre has on it. There is no doubt that TDP leaders are a scared lot. BJP leaders, on the other hand, criticise the ruling party in AP, but do not wish to stretch it any further, it appears.

Even three months ago, when Chandrababu met PM Modi, he did not find him to be a person who schemed and plotted against other political parties, notably the TDP. Ramakrishnudu now says that the BJP came up with GST and the idea of simultaneous elections to weaken regional parties. Did the AP Finance Minister say this when he moved the GST bill in the state assembly or at the GST Council meeting with the Union Finance Minister in Delhi? There seems to be only one motive behind this. Chandrababu had spent crores of rupees to 'buy' MLAs who crossed over from the YSRCP to TDP. Didn't he do it with the diabolical intention of weakening the YSRCP? The chief minister unabashedly welcomed the turncoat MLAs into the ruling party in his office, forgetting that he had sworn to uphold the Constitution. Moreover, he gave cabinet berths to four turncoat MLAs.

Chandrababu Naidu moved heaven and earth to get the number of constituencies in the state increased. As it turned out, all his efforts came to nought and these defector legislators have now become the proverbial albatross around Chandrababu's neck. He now realises the negative impact the decision not to effect an increase in the number of constituencies, would have on the TDP.

Chandrababu, who toed the BJP line all the way till recently, seems to be moving in the direction of the Congress now. There is also talk that secret parleys are on between some Congress leaders and Chandrababu Naidu. The AP Finance Minister's statement is an indicator of these developments.

If TDP leaders now see Andhra Mata or Bharat Mata in Sonia Gandhi, instead of a Mafia head from Italy, that should come as no surprise. Could anyone have ever predicted that the party established with certain ideals by NTR would traverse this far away from his objectives? The ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh has demonstrated its chameleon-like character, yet again.

Also Read: Defeat Stares TDP In The Face

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