Naidu: Run with the hare, hunt with the hounds
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister is adept at managing contradictions. He talks like an opposition leader while in office and makes promises like a chief minister while in opposition.
During the Telangana statehood movement, he propounded a two-eye theory saying that as a politician who was chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh for nine years, both Telangana and Andhra were equally important for him like two eyes. When he noticed that the Telangana sentiment was very strong, he wrote a letter to Pranab Mukherjee committee declaring that Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had no objection to bifurcation of AP. Before writing to the committee, he made the Party’s politburo to pass a resolution to that effect. The resolution, in turn, was based on the report of Erran Naidu Committee which toured the State in the name of knowing the pulse of the people. The modus operandi is simple. Naidu would first take a decision and then launches the process of making the decision appear to be one arrived at after due deliberation.
The TDP chief did not cooperate with the UPA government in dividing the State. He challenged the Centre to bifurcate the State if it had the guts. He was speaking in meetings organised in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema posing as a champion of integration. He was endorsing the demand for separate statehood while speaking at meetings held in Telangana region. After the bifurcation was carried out in the dying hours of the UPA government, Naidu started complaining loudly that injustice had been meted out to Andhra. He never made any suggestion on how to go about the process of bifurcation without hurting Andhra.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi dramatically announced the decision of demonetisation, Naidu was the first chief minister to welcome the bold move. He claimed that the decision was based on a letter he wrote to the PM recommending demonetisation. Again, 40 days after the decision which threw the people of the country into endless queues, Naidu sympathised with the old and the infirm who have been suffering because of the decision.
Naidu told his party MPs and MLAs at a meeting in Vijayawada on Monday that he had seen and managed many a crisis but the one thrown up by demonetisation appeared to be impossible to manage. He spoke as though the decision was imposed on the nation without due preparation When a hue and cry was raised by the BJP leaders and the media saying that Naidu had taken a u-turn, he said on Wednesday that he had only expressed his anguish at the way the decision was implemented and that he did not question the decision per se. He wanted to be with the PM who announced the decision while being also with the people who became victims of it. Duality on Telangana made him chief minister of the residual State of Andhra Pradesh. Where will the double-talk on demonetisation lead him?