Opinion: Chandrababu Barking the Wrong Tree to Stay Relevant in Politics

 - Sakshi Post

Andhra Pradesh’s Opposition Leader and Telugu Desam Party leader Chandrababu Naidu makes interesting statements. He keeps harping on the same topic as he might be thinking at least some people would agree with him.

Recently, we heard a speech in the media. The speaker said Polavaram and Amaravati are like two eyes for the state. Both the eyes were crushed by the YSRCP government, he claimed. What do those who hear this argument feel? One wonders if Chandrababu worked for the development of these two places and hence he is concerned about it? But he always speaks like this once in a while.

It won’t take long for the baseless facts to spread. He has support for a certain section of the media which spreads his message. Why not the Special Status for the state was considered as one eye and Special Package in lieu of Special Category Status (SCS) as the other eye?  Before the 2019 elections, how many times the Centre was criticised for ignoring the needs of the state?

How many times he has changed his stand on the Special Category Status (SCS). If Polavaram is indeed considered as an eye by the TDP government then why did Chandrababu delay raising the matter with the Centre soon after coming to power in 2014?

Didn't Chandrababu do injustice to the state by accepting the Special Package in lieu of Special Category Status (SCS) in 2016? Again when he insisted on Special Category Status for the state, didn’t the Centre ignore his plea? If the Polavaram project was to be taken up entirely by the Centre, why did he claim that the state government would build it without asking the Centre to do so?  

Consequently, the question of who will pay for the rehabilitation arises. Had he allowed the Centre to take it up, the government would have taken care of rehabilitation. Was he not criticised for favouring the contractors to build the project? He claimed the project would be completed by 2018 and failed to meet the deadline. If he had built the project in a time-bound manner, he would have received goodwill from people.   

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down the pace of development, the works on Polavaram projects were still going strong during the last two years. Shouldn’t the Centre and Prime Minister Modi be criticised if the Centre reduces the cost of the project? Why is the TDP chief Chandrababu, who had criticised the BJP-led central government before the elections, now afraid of Modi’s name? On top of that, he claimed the Jagan government has compromised on the Polavaram project. How does that explain the issue? 

Will Modi stop the cases already in the courts? Does that mean Modi will do such things? Do BJP leaders agree with this (TDP’s allegations)? Well, why won’t he say such things to PM Modi directly? Everyone knows how did Chandrababu manage the Cash-for-vote scam allegations. It is a fact that he was able to avoid getting cases against him. Can the opposition prove if the YSRCP government did such shady deals? He said the YSRCP government should retain the old contractors for the project works. 

We want to know then why did he cancel the contract of Transstroy and replace it with a new contractor? We should also note this point. The TDP leader is not deliberately criticising the Polavaram project contractor Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (Meil). Can you explain the reason for that? After all this, if he still believed Polavaram’s eye was crushed, the buck stops at the Chandrababu-led government. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has said by 2023 the Polavaram project will be dedicated to the nation. 

Let's take a look at another thing. Amravati's eye was left to dry. If Chandrababu Naidu was committed to the development of Amaravati, he would have acquired two thousand acres of forest land near the Vijayawada-Guntur National Highway and built infrastructure for administering governance. This wouldn’t have necessitated the capital move and the capital city would have witnessed the all-round development. Why would the need arise to acquire 34 thousand acres of private land? 

What was the need to lease these lands? Why spend over lakhs of crores and build infrastructure there and make their lands worth crores of rupees? What happened in Hyderabad? The State Government is unable to provide basic facilities to people as the region saw a sudden influx of population due to increased development in a specified area. At that time, the then Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy planned to develop the Nallagandla area in the western part of Hyderabad. In the meanwhile, he passed away in a tragic helicopter accident. 

What happened next was the city's growth and development slowed down.  Around twelve years later, roads and bridges are being built in the area. It may be wise enough to continue to develop a single area, but what would you call it when you spend lakhs of crores on fifty thousand acres of land at once? Will you call the leader a visionary? Is that possible? 

Furthermore, if most of the tax money is spent to build the new cities in the name of capital, how would that benefit the remaining districts? People from other districts would question the government’s rationale behind it. Didn’t they make the capital city to benefit from the real estate business? Eventually, the party was defeated in Guntur and Krishna districts. Although his son fought elections from Mangalagiri seat. Doesn’t he know the reason for losing elections?

If he really treated Amravati as an eye, he would have attended the Assembly proceedings and put forth his argument? Or at least he could have asked the party legislators to participate in the debate. What do we infer from this?  It means he is not sincere about Amravati. In recent days, the TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu claimed the YRSCP had acted irresponsibly during the assembly. 

It is a well known fact how the opposition TDP conspired to disrupt the house proceedings. The party stopped too low as the opposition members whistled on the floor and used cymbals to make noise and even flashed mangalsutra during important debates in the house. The TDP MLAs also whistled during the proceedings. The opposition members kept raising the cheap liquor issue despite the government refuting the allegations. But, they refused to participate in the debate as they feared their false narrative won’t stand before the government’s facts. 

The opposition may have thought by doing this melodrama on the floor of the House, they would get the attention of the people and score brownie points politically. The TDP MLAs tried their best to corner the Jagan government over liquor brands and when their plan fell apart, they disappeared from the scene. 

When the strategy fails, is it necessary for the opposition to raise the voice and drown the government’s response in the cacophony? Has he witnessed the opposition behaving in this manner when he was in power? It's not wrong for the opposition to criticise the government. However, when a senior politician like Chandrababu Naidu speaks in the Assembly, people should say the opposition has done its job right. If he fails to impress the people as an opposition leader, then we can safely assume TDP will not reap political benefits from its leader.  

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