Op-Ed: Why is Public Service No Longer a Bedrock of TDP?

 - Sakshi Post

By Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

The opposition Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh seems to be frustrated beyond belief. The TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu, his son and former Minister Nara Lokesh while addressing the party cadres claimed credit for what they did and what they didn’t during their term in office. The TDP leaders also put a strange condition before the party workers.

Let’s begin with the speech given by Lokesh first. When the opposition party returns to power, the party workers will be asked how many cases were filed against them. A party worker with only more than a dozen cases against him or her will get an audience from him. The TDP leader asserted times have changed so we will have to take the thorn out with the thorn.

He has chosen a nice proverb but Lokesh seems to have forgotten the objectives of the Telugu Desam party which was founded by the late Chief Minister NT Rama Rao. He is now telling people that times have changed. Once upon a time NTR-led Telugu Desam Party was known for its selfless service. Similarly, the Congress party also took part in the freedom struggle.

In those times, public service was an important issue for political parties. But under the leadership of Chandrababu and Lokesh, a political party’s work is being measured in terms of police cases against the cadre. They are demanding one or two but a dozen cases. What should the cadre do if the party leadership says that the party workers should at least have been booked a dozen times.

Who would face the consequences if the party worker believing the leader’s words indulges into criminal activities and is booked by the police? Lokesh said he would take care of cases filed against the TDP cadres. He is instigating the party workers to commit illegal activities so the police officials could file cases against them. What he doesn’t realize is that the cases filed by the government cannot be withdrawn so easily.

When the YSRCP government attempted to withdraw some cases, the same TDP leadership  challenged the move in the court. By that logic, in case the TDP returns to power, the cases will remain. The influential leaders may get away, but the ordinary workers will have no option but to stand trial.  

It’s even more puzzling if the TDP cadres still think the party is in a position to regain power. Most political pundits feel the YSR Congress government will return to power. If this prediction comes true, what will Lokesh do then? What will Chandrababu Garu do? In fact, if a political party stops thinking about how to do public service and thinking only about getting cases filed to gain voters sympathy, it is safe to assume the party is weakening. Sometimes local issues turn controversial due to politics involved and sometimes there may be political clashes as well. Despite all this nobody desires to get trapped in cases. 

They don't want to go around police stations every day for court adjournments. If you ask those who are roaming around, you will know how irritating it is. It is a desire to gain political advantage from the propaganda that the ruling YCP is targeting the TDP workers. 

The party is in delusion if the leadership thinks the workers are instigated and made to get them involved in cases and they will still remain committed to the party. The Telugu Desam leadership is making a serious effort to implement it. We should also make a note of it. If an ordinary person should have at least a dozen cases filed against him then how many cases should there be against TDP leaders? 

There are eleven cases filed against Lokesh but he claims he is not scared. And, he says no one should be afraid either. Even if there are cases against Lokesh, he could afford the high fees of successful lawyers to help him get a clean chit. . 

What we need to ask is would an ordinary worker have such a provision? The real Telugu Desam party has been trying to divert the public's attention by blaming the YCP and Jagan for irrelevant issues instead of telling people what their government proposes to do if their party comes to power. It may be TDP leaders' belief that people are not noticing their political somersaults. As usual Lokesh too does not hesitate to tell many lies.

He claims honourable members made a remark against his mother in the state assembly. Can he produce evidence to support this claim? Or like his father, he could have boycotted the council and registered a protest? And why did he not do it? What is the use of provoking and abusing the suspended MLA Vamsi from TDP? And he seems to think he was honouring his mother by repeatedly mentioning the topic? 

Would it be okay for the party to use her name like this for political gain?  None of this holds significance when you’ve a desire for power! Jagan did not stoop this low in politics when he was in the opposition as the leader of the YCP. He may have visited the bereaved families when some YCP workers were killed But he did not instigate the cadre to go on a rampage or file get booked for illegal activities. However, in 2017, he came up with a specific agenda to gain power.. 

He launched padayatra and tried to convince the voters that during the TDP government nobody was safe. It is not known how much the Telugu Desam Party will benefit from the repeated harping about these cases without competing in mass contact programmes.

It is unfortunate that the Telugu Desam Party has eventually become not only a party that whistles and rants, but also a party that quarrels and files cases. Lokesh also said these words. NTR God .. Chandrababugaru Rama Lokesh is a fool. There have been many sarcastic comments on Lokesh calling himself a fool. If NTR was truly a God then how could he be dismissed from office.. 

Will Chandrababu do that if he is Rama? Keeping the word given to his father Dasaratha, Rama goes to the forest. Can we presume Chandrababu had deserted NTR to snatch the party post? Whatever be the objective, when Lokesh declares himself a fool it is a bit  embarrassing.

Political opponents may use these dialogues to challenge each other. However, Lokesh, who is a novice at making political speeches, would do well to speak his mind rather than relying solely on scripts written by someone else!

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