Chandrababu Naidu may have reached the endgame on Special Category Status (SCS) to the state. His attempts to turn the tables on the senior alliance partner, BJP, have come a cropper. The BJP leadership has hinted that Chandrababu is insisting on SCS only under political compulsions. There is not much of reading between the lines that we need to do here. Naidu had never dwelt on SCS to AP much.
Chandrababu has been shifting his stance on this issue, over the years. A special package was far more beneficial and would work better for AP than SCS, he claimed. He also said that SCS was no Sanjeevini or magic cure, which would solve all of the vestigial state's problems. The AP CM derided others, including YSRCP leaders, who demanded SCS to the state.
Chandrababu probably thought that the masses could be led to believe that it was the BJP which had let him down, depending on how it plays out at the time of elections. However, what he clearly did not see was that he would be compelled to enact one more drama, in what he has proved to be an exhaustingly long set of such staged performances in recent years.
This time around Chandrababu Naidu realized he had painted himself into a corner. Didn't he know all along that the BJP had been speaking of a Special Package to AP, from the time it assumed office? Didn't he himself say that the SCS issue was a closed chapter? Chandrababu possibly reckoned that he could pull off his game till 2019 and beyond. He had overestimated Pawan Kalyan's traction with the masses, as events proved. People's power goes beyond the wildest dreams of politicians and planners, whose grandiose vision could thus easily go awry.
Leader of Opposition in AP assembly and YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has been consistently fighting for SCS to AP. He has been unwavering in his stand and from the day undivided AP was divided into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, he has been reminding the rulers and the ruled that SCS alone could help the vestigial state. He has been championing the cause of SCS to AP in every village of his mass outreach programme--Praja Sankalpa Yatra. In public meetings and rallies on the walkathon, YS Jagan has repeatedly emphasized on the benefits of SCS to the state. He has pointed out that there could not be any compromise on the issue.
The YSRCP President has repeatedly shed light on the positives involved--investments to the state which would be given incentives and tax benefits; the generation of employment especially to local unemployed youth and a host of other benefits.
The massive public response which the Padayatra has been receiving everywhere has clearly unnerved Chandrababu Naidu. People saw through his act and he suddenly began to sing a different tune. The TDP, which was harping on a special package to AP, suddenly thought it could ride the SCS wave sweeping across AP. The groundswell of support which YS Jagan has been receiving is clearly giving Chandrababu sleepless nights.
People feel cheated by Chandrababu and he knows it. He has only managed to land himself in a fresh soup with this drama of resignations enacted by him, withdrawing two TDP ministers from the Union cabinet. Oddly enough, Sujana Chowdary clarified that the TDP would remain in the NDA. Does NDA want the TDP albatross around its neck? That is the big question.