Amaravati: TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu has made a rather bizarre claim that he would continue as chief minister till June 8, 2019. Citing this date as the day on which he was sworn-in in 2014, he said he would therefore, continue as chief minister till that date. His government would continue till the new government takes over, he said and added that in the US, a government in power continued for eight weeks after the elections. The TDP supremo addressed a media meet at Praja Vedika in Undavalli on Wednesday at which he made these comments.
Clearly, Chandrababu Naidu appears to be hoping to cling to power for some more days, in the face of imminent defeat, experts say. Even so, his statements on this count defy conventional practice, they say. Chandrababu wondered how he could be asked not to conduct reviews and stated that apart from policy decisions, the government could continue to function in other respects.
The TDP supremo questioned the media as to how elections were connected to the government. He maintained that the Election Commission's job was to conduct polls and not run the administration. Analysts point out that such remarks reflect Chandrababu's growing frustration as also his renewed attempts to continue a run-in with the EC.
Chandrababu further claimed that he was educating the entire country on the subject of EVMs, which is the reason why it had become a subject of debate across the country. He further alleged that the Election Commission had admitted that EVMs had developed glitches. Significantly, however, he appeared to give his own spin to the EC's statement by not mentioning the miniscular figure and percentage put out by the Chief Electoral Officer Gopalakrishna Dwivedi who had stated that 0.03% of EVMs had developed snags. The CEO had clarified that they were replaced or repaired and polling was conducted smoothly in all such centres.
Chandrababu also sought the response of the media and intelligentsia on the issue of counting VVPAT slips. As in the past, he once again repeated wild allegations on YSR Congress Party President YS Jagan Mohan Reddy with regard to the murder of former MP and minister YS Vivekananda Reddy, and claimed that the YSRCP chief got the SP of the district transferred while the probe was in progress.
The TDP supremo did not stop at that. He claimed that raids were being conducted wherever he went in the country. He cited the examples of his visits to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, followed by IT raids in the two southern states. The TDP chief expressed his displeasure over retired IAS officers meeting the Governor to complaining about him. Why were they silent when three IPS officers and the chief secretary were transferred? he asked. Again, Chandrababu appeared to have glossed over the facts spelt out by the retired IAS officers, observers point out.
Chandrababu added that he called the chief secretary a covert and wondered as to what was wrong with his statement. He questioned as to why the chief secretary visited the DGP's office and spent five hours there. These statements are not only reflective of his fear and frustration, but are completely out of line, analysts say.
When media men questioned the TDP chief on complaints of non-payment of salaries and an empty government treasury, Chandrababu replied that all salaries barring those of outsourcing employees had been paid. He also claimed that 69% of the work on Polavaram had been completed and that the Centre was yet to release Rs. 4,508.35 crores.