Chandrababu Naidu: A Case Of Missed Opportunity

SANJAYA

Hyderabad: A politician who could have become a statesman but refusing to do so is Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. As days pass by, he has been shrinking in stature because of his competitive politics.

Naidu has been chief minister for a record number of years. He was CM in undivided AP from 1995 to 2004. He became chief minister again, albeit of a truncated residual state of AP in June 2014. There has been no change in his attitude to politics or political or moral values. Means are not important for him but only ends matter. He stoops to any low to score a political point. And he wants to score points every day. In the process he takes unavoidable risks and uses all his time and resources to overcome the problems. There is no political philosophy or public policy that guide his actions.

People of AP made him chief minister in 2014 on account of his age and experience. He should have used the opportunity in building infrastructure for the new capital- Amaravati. Instead of being transparent and accountable, he has been indulging in bluffing the people by making false promises and tall claims. Opposition leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is inexperienced and emotional. Naidu could have treated him in a decent way and impressed the people with his maturity and generosity. He should have been cheerful conducting inclusive policies. Instead, he had been picking up quarrels and treating the opposition members unfairly and shabbily. He never organized an all-party meeting in more than two-and-half years of rule. He never invited YS Jagan for consultation on any of the major decision. He never took all-party delegation to Delhi to demand special status or implementation of provisions of AP Bifurcation Act 2014. He has been acting alone. Even the TDP leaders are not being consulted on any policy matter.

Naidu has been fire-fighting all the time running the administration and the party according to his whims and fancy. He has been vindictive towards the opposition instead of being accommodative. The attitude of the main opposition, YSRCP, is dictated by the attitude of the CM.

When opposition leader YS Jagan spoke strongly with the collector of Krishna district, a criminal case was booked against him. When YSRCP MP Mithun Reddy had an altercation with an airport employee at Tirupati, he was implicated in a criminal case. But when the ruling party MPs and MLAs misbehave with officials, no case is booked. This is the blatant bias Naidu has been deliberately showing by throwing all the democratic norms to the wind.

The latest example of no action being taken against the offenders if they happen to be MPs or MLAs from the TDP is that of abuses being heaped on highly respected and straight forward IPS officer Bala Subrahmanyam, the Transport Commissioner. TDP MP and owner of a transport company Kesineni Srinivas (Nani), MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao and MLC Buddha Venkanna have gone to transport office and abused the commissioner. Bonda Uma has pushed the home guard who was protecting the Commissioner.

Naidu counseled his MP, MLA and MLC on the next and made them say sorry before the cameras. They said they were saying sorry because the chief minister asked them to do so. The infuriated IPS officer had to swallow his pride and leave the issue at that. Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy, a YSRCP MLA, sat on fast on Monday morning. He was removed to police station. The opposition MLAs were prevented from meeting him. Bhaskar Reddy’s whereabouts were not known till evening, when the police released him. All this drama has shown the CM and his administration in poor light.

In the process, the chief minister is emerging as a leader of a ruling party which has no idealistic agenda. He is not perceived as a leader of the people of AP, irrespective of caste or creed. It is a pity that a politician who once played an important role in national politics, in the selection of at least two prime ministers, should indulge in petty politics and end up as a leader of no consequence.

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Jagan needs to do a lot of election strategy exercise

Dara Gopi

Amaravati: The results for the three MLC elections representing the local bodies are out. The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had won the three seats. The TDP had already won six MLC seats from the local bodies unanimous and these three would make its count to nine.

The ruling TDP had also won the five MLC seats from the MLAs quota earlier this month. Winning or losing the MLC elections is not going to make any changes either for the ruling TDP or for the Opposition YSR Congress in their political assertion in the State. The victory also does not reflect the public mood as the voters here are the elected representatives of the local bodies, who have already changed their loyalties from the Opposition to the ruling party. Thus ruling party will always have an edge over the Opposition with the defections.

What makes the difference is the election strategy that the Opposition YSR Congress followed in this election. Jagan Mohan Reddy should understand that he is running a political party whose target is winning the elections. Giving up the six MLC seats in the local body quota on the ground that he had no majority is not an excuse for a political party, particularly the party that is the main opposition and aspiring to be in power. The YSR Congress should have contested the six seats that were given in golden plate to the TDP. Not having majority is not an excuse as Jagan Mohan Reddy, as a politician, should not expect everything to be handed over to him on a plate. He has to fight the battle, keep his folks active and vibrant, and above all give them a face to stand before the opponents in the rural areas. A continued defeat of the party would demoralise the cadre at the grassroots where fight is tougher and honest.

Everyone in the State or those watching the State politics from outsider are aware of the fact that Kadapa MLC seat is important for Jagan Mohan Reddy and his YSR Congress. Jagan must have the numbers in Kurnool and Nellore as the YSR Congress claims, but Kadapa is important as it is his fortress. A leader should not lose the battle in his home turf. That defeat is considered a failure and the fighting spirit of the soldiers gets diluted. This is what had happened in the case of YSR Congress getting defeated in Kadapa. It may not alter the ruling factors in the State, but matters a lot for the YSR Congress leaders and cadres, who have to answer the criticism. Jagan Mohan Reddy should have at least stood firm in Kadapa, keeping his folks together intact, not ‘hijacked’ by the ruling party as he claims today.

The continuous defeat or accepting defeat is also not good for a party to fight the elections and stage a comeback. Moreover, a political party is not expected to avoid fighting election battles or withdrawing from the battle field. It might taste defeat in the elections, but what matters is the fighting.

Two more years time is left for the Opposition party to survive and keep its folks together. The defeat like this would not help the party to stay intact and ready for the 2019 elections. Jagan Mohan Reddy would have to learn the strategy, winning strategy, and keep on fighting every election, with a strong mind to win every election.

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Washing dirty linen: TDP-YSRCP style

Hyderabad: The ruling party and the opposition in Andhra Pradesh have reached the peak in their madness in which there is a method. The latest bout is the controversy over the lewd pictures of Nara Lokesh taken during his stay as a student in the US. They were obviously picked up from the Twitter or Facebook and released to media by the YSRCP. The pictures show the junior Nara, and the grandson of NT Rama Rao, swimming and enjoying his time with a number of girls. There was no official rejoinder from the ruling party.

The photos have been making rounds for months. Journalists who happened to see had not taken them seriously.  But the latest provocation that made the YSRCP to release the photos and make noise was the statement made by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. He said that the reports that about Rs 10,000 crore were disclosed by one person in Hyderabad as part of the voluntary disclosure scheme announced by the Income Tax authorities and he also hinted that the person is none other than the Opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

Naidu has been taunting the young son of former chief minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy (YSR) with allegations that the former has accumulated illegal money to the extent of Rs 1 lakh crore when his father was chief minister.

The TDP leaders who made it a habit of making this allegation almost every day and everywhere never took the trouble of producing a shred of evidence. The newspapers and the TV channels which give a lot of publicity to the insinuations also did not bother about evidence. TDP MLAs Butchaiah Chowdary, Dhulipala Narendranath Chowdary and Achhan Naidu are in the regular habit of repeating this allegation on the floor of the Assembly. The only thing they cite is the chargesheets filed by the CBI and the time Jaganmohan Reddy had spent in jail.

Jagan and his party leaders have been pointing out that the cases filed by the CBI were on account of his defiance of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Congress leader Sankar Rao and  TDP leader late Yerran Naidu together filed a case in AP High Court and the Centre was cooperating with the petitioners.

As long as he was YSR’s son and obedient to Sonia Gandhi, Jaganmohan Reddy was considered a decent guy. Once he rebelled against the UPA supremo, he became corrupt. The allegation made by the YSRCP is that the Congress and the TDP joined hands to implicate Jagan in corruption cases.

The Opposition leader has been claiming that the total amount involved in the charge sheets is Rs 12,000 crore out of which Rs 11,000 crore have already been paid back. The Enforcement Directorate which functions under the Finance Ministry was super-active attaching properties belonging to the business concerns of Jaganmohan Reddy and his partners left, right and centre. Former finance minister P Chidambaram and the present Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have been close friends of  Chandrababu Naidu who has been in touch with them on regular basis. This is entirely a politically motivated litigation and has nothing to do with quid-pro-quo as alleged by the TDP and the Congress, argue YSRCP leaders. The Congress stopped making these allegations after it lost power both at the Centre and in the State.  That the Congress party in AP is dying to work with the YSRCP is a different thing, they quip.  But the cases have become handy for the TDP to needle the opposition by making unfounded charges in the presence of a Speaker who does not object when same allegations are repeated everyday during every session. So, there is enough reason for the YSRCP and its president to be angry with the TDP. Further, a number of YSRCP MLAs were lured into the ruling party. YSRCP alleged that its MLAs were bought over. The MLAs who defected said they crossed over to the ruling party for two reasons: One, the YSRCP leader was not giving them respect; two, they are defecting for the sake of development of their constituencies.

To counter the corruption charges, Jagan has been repeating the ‘note for vote’ case in which Naidu’s voice was recorded. Telangana State Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has gained upper hand over Naidu with this case.  Revant Reddy, a TDP MLA, was caught on spy camera handing over bundles or currency to a nominated MLA in Hyderabad for voting for the TDP candidate in MLC elections. Every decision of Naidu, from  shifting post-haste to Amaravati from Hyderabad to not forcing the Union government to concede the demand for special status, has been  linked to this case in which he  could be implicated. The trading of charges has been going on for months balancing out each other. But the latest salvo fired by Naidu was the proverbial last straw which came soon after an audacious letter by Lokesh addressing Jagan questioning the latter’s character and integrity.

The political analysts are at a loss to understand whether the YSRCP is helping, unwittingly, in projecting Nara Lokesh’s image as an important leader in AP politics or Naidu, in his misplaced enthusiasm, provoked the opposition to wash the dirty linen in public and show his son in poor light by releasing the photos. Both the parties have their social media activists, caste support groups and media houses to carry their message far and wide. The war of attrition would go on. But the debate on development, the controversies surrounding the upcoming capital city of Amaravati and implementation of election promises would be badly affected. For a week now, these issues are seldom debated in political circles.  That, perhaps, suits TDP and Naidu.

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How Can Jagan Fight AP Battles From Hyderabad?

  • Time to shift to VJA

Ankababu Kollu

Vijayawada: It is around thirty months since the United State of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated. The YSRCP’s strength is mainly located in Andhra Pradesh. Though the party has network in Telangana, it is not worth mentioning compared to AP. The gap between ruling TDP and YSRCP was only around five lakh votes in the last elections. It is the only opposition party in AP Assembly as BJP is an associate of the ruling TDP. All other political parties like the congress, CPI, CPM and the BJP started their AP offices at Vijayawada soon after the new State came into existence.

But to everybody’s surprise YSRCP has no State party office in AP so far. An alternative party in AP politics running from party president’s residence in other state is never done in any state. The YSRCP is run from lotus pond residence of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in Hyderabad. All bandh calls, agitation calls, resentments by YSRCP are monitored and supervised from Telangana state. So far, party supremo never participated in any bandh in his own state where his future in politics lies.

In Vijayawada where headquarters of political parties except TDP, YSRCP does have its office premises. TDP State office is operating from Guntur.

Only former minister K. Pardhasaradhi, spokesperson of YSRCP, has been conducting press conferences from his residence and trade union leader Gowtam Reddy from his house. No party functionary available in Vijayawada to represent any grievence to concerned ministers or officers coming from other districts in the state. Any legislator, leader, party worker has to go to other state to meet their party president.

Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, political secretary to party president, Vijayasai Reddy , considered next in hirarchy to party president, are residing with their families in Hyderabad only. It may be difficult for YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to get a spacious and modern house as lotus pond at Vijayawada to live.

Moreover, it may be difficult to shift family here as his children are studying at Hyderabad and Bengaluru and wife Bharathi is looking after SAKSHI Media Group as its chairperson. Jagan may be coming to AP for consoling families who are in distress either farmers, students, accident victims or others. It is generally discussed that Jagan comes to AP only when some untoward incident takes place.

He may be participating in Dharnas, fastings and Rytu Chaitanya rallies, Yuvabheri , but his presence in the home state on regular basis will have much impact than coming now and then. It is also believed here that his regular attendance in courts may be another reason for not shifting totally to home state.

One of YSRCP party functionaries informed about Jagan’s representatives searching for good place for the State party office in Vijayawada where Jagan Mohan Reddy can stay when he is here. But it is very late by any measure to have a party office in home State.  The party president not being available on regular basis to needy is a definite disadvantage.

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Roja Unlucky

  • Status Issue Affects Her

Hyderabad: YSRCP MLA Roja’s suspension should have been lifted in the last Assembly had it functioned normally.

It seems AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu also gave nod to the proposal lift the suspension.

But, to the misfortune of Roja the Assembly did not function normally.

When media questioned YSRCP supremo YS Jagan Mohan Reddy about Roja’s suspension, he said that the issue is not important at that time meaning that the special status is more pressing.

Roja’s suspension issue may come to logical end only in the coming budget session.

Though the Assembly has to function for a few days in the winter, it is unlikely to happen because the temporary Assembly building may not come to use in next couple of months.

Since AP CM declared in the Legislative Council that the winter session is unlikely to take place, Roja’s problem has to wait.

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Jagan writes to Uma Bharathi against Palamur

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Opposition Leader and YSR Congress Party President Jaganamohan Reddy today raised objection to Palamur lift irrigation scheme citing that it has no permission from the Centre.

In a letter addressed to Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharathi, Jagan sought her intervention against the project. Jagan expressed concerns that the project is in violation of Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act and if taken up,it will only desert the Rayalaseema and Costal Andhra regions. As of now, no allocations were made to the Palamur scheme post bifurcation, and the project is against its spirit, he stated.

He also stated that the two Telugu States should obtain prior permissions from the Central Water Commission and River Waters Maintenance Board for the works.

Telangana Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao laid a foundation stone for the project a few days ago though it would hamper the interests of Nellore and Prakasam districts. The project works will come in the way of present Ayacut under Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar, and the projects will face trouble, he stated. The Centre should immediately intervene and stall the work, Jagan stated in the letter, it is learnt. (NSS)

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