- Special message conveyed
- Opens several fronts
- Goes on holiday
AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu has proved once again that he is a modern day Chanakya and can fight simultaneously on several fronts. Getting a High Court stay on the proceedings of the ACB special court was one of many things that were happening at the same time. Naidu has mastered the art of getting an extremely difficult message across to the people in a smooth way by involving an unexpected person to deliver it.
Naidu deployed Union Minister Sujana Chowdary to make it crystal clear to the people of Andhra Pradesh that special status is as good as not there. Sujana Chowdary was categorical in his assertion on Thursday that AP would soon be getting a package in lieu of special status. That the special status was not coming was known to Chandrababu Naidu, Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, and Sujana Chowdary more than two years ago. However, they have been ambivalent whenever they spoke on the subject. They are not in position to build pressure on the PM who is too powerful and unapproachable. Naidu’s had decided that they had to convince the people of AP since they could not convince the Prime Minister of the country. One thought either Finance Minister Arun Jaitley or Prime Minister Modi himself would make the important statement. But Naidu had selected a faceless Sujana Chowdary for the job.
It was Venkaiah Naidu who demanded in Rajya Sabha, when the AP Re-organisation Bill 2014 was discussed, that AP should get special status for at least ten years. The then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh had conceded the demand for five years. BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Chandrababu Naidu, Venkaiah Naidu and film actor Pawan Kalyan promised to the people in an election rally at Tirupati that they would surely get special status if they voted for the BJP and the TDP. Both the Naidus were indulging in falsehood and hoodwinking all these two years whenever they spoke about the status. Chandrababu Naidu once even said special status is not a ‘Sanjeevani’ to cure all the ills.
There was a steady movement mounted by the opposition YSRCP demanding special status. The party leader YS Jagan went on fast. Bandh was observed. Special mention and a lot of noise were made in Parliament but to no avail. Senior Congress leader and an acknowledged tactician KVP Ramachandra Rao had introduced a Private Member Bill on special status in Rajya Sabha. Congress, YSRCP, CPM and CPI rallied behind Rao. The NDA government had to take note of the growing sentiment in AP although it did not allow voting on the Bill by bulldozing its way. Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, had announced in Parliament that some package would be given instead of special status which is not possible in given conditions.
Pawan Kalyan had become super active suddenly and organised a public meeting at Tirupati. He told his fans that it was at that place two and half years ago that Modi had promised special status. The actor declared that he would take up the cause and fight against the governments at the centre and in the State in order to achieve special status. There was a rumour in political circles at that time that Chandrababu Naidu was behind the move. Pawan declared his intention to hold public meetings in all the district headquarters to campaign for special status. He said he would address a public meeting at Kakinada in East Godavari district on September 9.
In the meanwhile, a popular daily known for its unstinted support to Naidu had published a news item claiming that the CM had told the PM that he would go his separate way if a decision is not taken soon on the question of special status. It was obviously a planted story by way of preparing the people of AP for a package while informing them their chief minister is fighting with all his might against the centre for achieving the demand.
Delhi gets package ready
The meeting in Delhi attended by BJP chief Amit Shaw, Venkaiah Naidu and Sujana Chowdary on one hand and between Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley on the other were part of the deliberate acts carried out at the behest of Chandrababu Naidu. As a result of the discussions in Delhi Sujana had told TDP MPs and later the media that Chandrababu Naidu had been working day and night to get funds and support from the Centre for the welfare of the people of AP. He said special status could not be granted due to several problems and hurdles. So a package is on offer.
While enacting a very difficult scene in the case of denial of special status, Naidu ensured that his advocates were properly briefed to get a stay in HC in the case involving him as a likely accused. In order to divert the attention of the people from his failure to get special status and his unwillingness to face probe in the ‘Note for Vote’ case, he unleashed the police on Karunakara Reddy, former TTD chairman, and strong supporter of YSRCP leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The State CID had served notice on Karunakara Reddy and some others asking them to appear at a police station for questioning. The move is probably aimed at diverting the public attention to unimportant issues from unsavoury developments which tend to show Naidu in poor light. Now the main opposition party would be kept busy with shielding its leaders in Tuni train burning case. It may be recalled that a train was set on fire by some miscreants some months ago when Mudragada Padmanabham was addressing a protest rally of Kapus at Tuni. Using police force against YSRCP leaders may also be a veiled warning to Kapu leaders who have been mobilising support to revive their movement for reservations. The community leaders have been demanding that Kapus be merged into BCs. Killing many birds in one shot is an art that Naidu had mastered very early in his political career. Keeping the enemy engaged in self defence is one of the tactics in warfare. Having organised everything, Naidu had left on a cool holiday with his family.