Vetupalem, Prakasam district: If one looks at the sequence of events which unfolded quickly over the past few hours, it becomes evident that Chandrababu is once again staging another drama. It also marks a new low in politics. It is evident that it is only in the face of public fury that Chandrababu out of fear, has reacted. Chandrababu speaks as if the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke of special package, instead of special status to Andhra Pradesh for the first time! Reacting to Arun Jaitley‘s remark, as if the FM had never said so before, Naidu is acting as though the TDP is getting ready to snap ties with the BJP at the Centre. Going by the way he changes his stand and statements, Chandrababu’s actions would put a chameleon to shame!

When it comes to fraudulent promises, Chandrababu has no match in politics. For four years now, people have been watching him act one drama after another. People have seen how he mortgaged the interests of Andhra Pradesh in the streets of Delhi. The masses have seen how he settled for a package instead of special category status to the state, because the package in question involved huge finances, which meant commissions. People have seen how he was implicated in the notes for votes case along with audio and video tapes, which made him powerless and forced him on the back foot against the centre. They have also been watching how he has been changing his stance on the special category status with every passing hour. At the time of elections, he described SCS as a Sanjeevini or magic cure. Once he came to power he started singing a different tune. Naidu asked whether SCS was a Sanjeevini, doing a complete U- turn on the subject. Pointing to a package, where none was given, Chandrababu claimed that it was better than special category status.

Earlier, Chandrababu was singing hymns in praise of a special package and also of Jaitley who had always been speaking of a package. Naidu felicitated Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu as if Andhra Pradesh had achieved something remarkable and as if it was accorded some special treatment by the Centre. He continued to play this drama for four years and meanwhile his government was steeped in corruption of the worst kind. Chandrababu quietly buried the subject of special category status all these years. Why did Chandrababu suddenly wake up to the subject of special category status? It is comparable to the sandalwood smuggler Veerappan coming forward to say that he would protect sandalwood trees!

YSRCP, on the other hand, has been consistent in its stand on the special category status. It has walked the talk on SCS to AP. The party has always maintained that special category status alone is a Sanjeevini and has been creating awareness on this issue for the past four years. YSRCP, in the process, has brought about a mass awakening and the movement has now gathered momentum. From the alleys and streets of the state of Andhra Pradesh to distant Delhi the demand for SCS being made by the people of Andhra Pradesh, continues to resonate with increasing force and vigour with every passing day. SCS, which Chandrababu Naidu had thought of burying quietly, became a clarion call on the lips of every Andhra citizen. It turned into a powerful weapon which people knew was their lifeline if the state had to progress. It was the YSRCP which breathed life into SCS which Naidu had planned to put on the back burner.

When the YSRCP had been fighting for SCS to AP, what did Chandrababu Naidu do? He tried every trick in the book to check the people’s movement. He used police force against those who took to the streets on the issue. He ridiculed YSRCP leaders who demanded Special Category Status. In spite of all his machinations, YSRCP remained consistent in its thoughts, speech and actions. In the process it created for itself permanent niche in the hearts and minds of the people of Andhra Pradesh as a party which voiced their sentiments and expressed their concerns in a just and fair manner. People clearly understood that if special category status had to be achieved, it could be done by YSRCP alone which had the credibility to fight for it. They walked alongside the party showing their solidarity. Students, youth, women and the masses at large, came together to stand behind the party in large numbers and gave a call in one voice for SCS to AP. It was this mass awakening created by YSRCP that sent a shiver down Chandrababu’s spine. No wonder he suddenly decided to withdraw his ministers from the Union government in a belated drama. This is nothing but another act in the long drama that he has been playing. However, it is my conviction that people’s fury itself will teach a lesson to him and to the tricks that he has been playing. It is not possible to fool all the people all the time. Credibility is of paramount importance in politics and the day is not far when Chandrababu Naidu will be taught this lesson by the people of Andhra Pradesh—that credibility matters more than anything else. It is my firm conviction that the fight for SCS to Andhra Pradesh must continue if the state has to prosper. As soon as I completed the press conference in the morning, a few sisters stepped forward to greet me. I extended my hearty greetings to them on the occasion of International Women’s Day. It gave me great happiness to be with them on this occasion. I have a question for the chief minister—you keep harping on the subject that you have 40 years of experience in public life. You claim that you are one of the seniormost leaders in national politics. You brag that you have seen many Prime Ministers and Presidents. How is it then, that you could not enforce the enactment of commitments made by the Parliament? You say that you had been to Delhi 29 times. You also disclosed the reason for your Delhi visits. Have you ever stated on at least one occasion that you had visited Delhi to secure special category status to Andhra Pradesh? Leaders of the BJP, which is your alliance partner at the Centre, claimed that you had never broached the subject of Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh even once. What answer do you have to this? What was the purpose behind your 29 visits to Delhi? What benefits did you seek?