Chandrababu Naidu’s All Party Meeting, A Disaster

Chandrababu Naidu - Sakshi Post

Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu's attempt to score brownie points over Special Category Status to the state proved to him fruitless. No other political party attended his so-called all-party meet. For that matter, there was greater representation of political parties in the meet convened by former MP Undavalli Arun Kumar, lending credibility to his all-party convention. The fact of the matter is that Undavalli is an intellectual who speaks keeping the interests of the state at heart. However, it does appear that he is still under state of bifurcation hangover because he argued that the AP State Reorganisation Act is an unconstitutional one. That may well be true but one cannot be go back in time and undo the bifurcation episode. Besides, is it not true that the Congress MPs were responsible for the pandemonium which took place in the Lok Sabha at the time of the bifurcation discussion. The Speaker had announced the enactment of the Bill even as MPs from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were fighting amongst one another.

The question which arises then is whether a Bill can be moved when the House is not in order. One must also recall the infamous pepper spray incident involving Lagadapati, apart from MPs from Telangana and AP nearly coming to blows. In this context, Undavalli's advice to political parties to work together after the upcoming elections is rather strange indeed. The TDP attempted to hijack the all-party meeting convened by Undavalli and this was amply clear from those representing its point of view, ministers Somireddy, Ananda Babu, Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Kutumba Rao, accompanied by some officials. However, with former chief secretary IYR Krishna Rao opposing their points of view in presenting their case strongly, there was not much they could do. The entire exercise was one of deception considering Chandrababu Naidu attempted to paint himself as a champion of SCS to the state. It is Chandrababu who got, it must be pointed out, Leader of the Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly arrested on the Visakhapatnam runway when YS Jagan undertook a protest demanding SCS to AP. No wonder all parties boycitted Chandrababu's call for a meeting because be it the Congress, CPI or CPM, they have all seen through his game and his multiple U-turns on the issue of Special Category Status. It is clear that such ploys by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister are pre-election stunts. The Jana Sena founder Pawan Kalyan avoided criticism of having fallen into Chandrababu Naidu's trap by skipping the meeting. The fact of the matter is that the TDP chief has little regard for other parties or for democratic values.

In the past he had stated that the CPI need not be invited to an all-party convention since it had no representation in the Assembly. Why is it that he invited the Jana Sena which did not so much as contest the elections? The underlying reason becomes apparent. So far, the AP CM has not attempted an all-party consensus on any issue during the course of his term. Be it the location of the state capital, naming it or other key issues, nowhere was the opposition consulted. On the contrary, he ridiculed the opposition and spared no effort to tarnish their image. It is only now after quitting the NDA that Chandrababu finds merit in the demand for Special Category Status. Earlier, he use to argue as to what SCS could bring to the state. He threatened students who wished to attend YS Jagan's Yuva Bheri by getting them implicated in false cases.

The AP chief minister had then accused the opposition parties of trying to impede the progress of the state when they were demanding SCS, whereas he is now taking up fasts and strikes for the very same cause. Chandrababu gives his nod to bandhs demanding SCS now. Though the principal Opposition parties did not attend Chandrababu Naidu's all-party meeting, the Aam Aadmi Party, SP, BSP went to the convention and appeared to have commended his efforts. In the past, the AAP strongluy criticised Chandrababu Naidu's rampant corruption, but there appears to be a change in the party's attitude after Kejriwal met up with the AP chief minister. AAP might say that the Centre should release the Rs 1,16,000 crores he has been demanding. But what about expenses, travel in special flights, widespread corruption and such issues. If only flatterers are invited to all-party meetings, the image of Chandrababu Naidu who calls himself a 40-year industry is bound to take a beating.

Also Read: TDP Struggle For SCS, An Election Stunt

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