Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu appears to be earning more number of enemies than friends lately. After he divorced from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) early this year, the BJP has locked horns with him.
Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan fell out with him long ago. He is now testing political waters as to whether he would get an opportunity that his brother Chiranajeevi had missed, in grabbing the Chief Minister’s chair in Amaravati. YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has been there since beginning, biding his time to go for his jugular.
Now latest in the list is Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. Naidu’s interest in Telangana elections has become an eye-sore for him. He wanted him to confine himself to AP just as the way he was limiting his operations to Telangana. But Naidu, by aligning with the Congress, is trying to make insurrection into Telangana, ruffling KCR’s feathers.
After Chandrababu Naidu shifted to Amaravati in 2015, it looked as though there was a ceasefire between the two leaders. Naidu found his way to Vijayawada and from there to Undavalli and finally constructed his own Secretariat from where he has been administering the State since then.
After Chandrashekar Rao quit Deputy Speaker’s post and set up Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in 2001, he founded his Telangana movement mainly on anti-Naidu plank and on how this Andhra leader had led others in plundering Telangana.
Though the Congress took over in 2014, most of Chandrashekar Rao’s attack was on the TDP than on the Congress. As the Telangana movement reached the homestretch, everyone including Naidu had reconciled the formation of Telangana State. The inevitable had happened and Naidu moved over to Andhra and KCR took over Telangana. That is all history and it is behind us.
Now Naidu has to reckon with Chandrashekar Rao as the TDP supremo wants to flog the Telugu Desam back into life somehow or the other in Telangana. Losing Telangana to KCR was a development with which he is still not able to come to grips with.
He waxes eloquent on the days that had gone into oblivion when he was the Chief Minister of the integrated Andhra Pradesh and how had sown seeds for the software sector to flourish and how he had raised Hitec city and persuaded Microsoft and other IT majors to set up shop in Hyderabad. He always ruminates on how much effort he had made to develop Hyderabad, despite the fact that his fascination for Hyderabad always rattles KCR and his son KTR.
At a time when KCR was thinking that he had seen the last of Chandrababu Naidu, he is back on Telangana soil, trying to help the party acquire life. KCR knows very well that Naidu, if allowed to operate in Telangana, could be a real pain in the neck and his outbursts against him in election rallies held thus far are a proof to this.
His warning that he would open his third eye is a subtle threat to him that he may be forced to reopen Naidu’s cash for vote scam which rocked Telangana State ahead of elections to Telangana Legislative Council in 2015. But, undaunted Naidu has his own plans – he wants to see the party up and going in Telangana which alone satisfies him, despite the fact that KCR had been able to proselytize people of Telangana into Naidu baiters.
But Nadu’s camp believes that people in 2014 elections were carried away by the KCR’s oratory because they were heady with the joy of obtaining statehood to their region. But during the last four-and-a-half years, a lot of water has flowed in the Musi, and the TDP leaders believe that the people now would compare KCR’s administration with that of Naidu’s till 2004 and that of the Congress till 2014.
The Congress, not very sure if it could take on KCR singly, extended its hand to Naidu to come and fight with KCR together. Now the TDP is part of the alliance that is ranged against the TRS.
But KCR is seething with rage that Naidu should come back to Telangana and take up cudgels against him by aligning with the Congress. If KCR wins this election, as is being widely believed, Naidu would have a tough time back in AP when he would be facing elections in May next year.
Though KCR would not be there out in the open as he has no electoral takes in AP, he would, however, be there to help out all the forces that would want to bring Naidu down – YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Pawan Kalyan and of course the BJP with whom, it is rumoured, he has an unwritten understanding.
KTR, who is being referred to as de facto Chief Minister of Telangana, also handed out a warning to Naidu only on Saturday, asking him to forget Telangana in his own interest. He does not see why Naidu should dabble in Telangana politics where he has no stakes.
“We are being forced to come down on Naidu. Are we attacking Pawana Kalyan or YS Jagan Mohan Reddy? Aren’t they operating only in AP?” he argues.
At the end of the day, Naidu would have to reckon with two visible enemies – Jagan Mohan Reddy and Pawana Kalyan, invisible foe KCR and finally the Central BJP leadership, which, sitting at Delhi will be moving the pawns in the political chess board to make life difficult for him.
The TDP believes that the BJP is very active now and the IT raids on the TDP leaders’ houses bare all its intentions. At present IT raids are going on the houses and offices of TDP Rajya Sabha member CM Ramesh. The TDP says they were intended to demoralise the party and the cadres ahead of elections. Ramesh vowed to take legal recourse against the raids and also lodge complaint with Central Vigilance Commission.
He says raids have been ordered after he had sought details of Income Tax raids taking place in AP, Telangana, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The Income Tax officials had already raided two other TDP leaders’ houses in AP and it is believed that their next target is Municipal Minister P Narayana whose family promotes Narayana Educational Institutions across the two States of AP and Telangana.
While this is so, it is not very clear whether the Congress with whom Naidu is going to face the elections in Telangana is his friend or he is its fried, as in politics, it is not the same all the time. Both are in need if each other. Who would use whom more is all what that matters in elections. It will decide whether Naidu acquired a friend in the Congress or the other way round.
Finally, it all boils down to the fact that at the moment, the TDP is suspecting every development is one that is being triggered by its political rival BJP. As all is grist that is going to TDP’s mill, the yellow party is moving ahead with great caution as in election time usually the parties that are in power try to bully the opponents using the investigation agencies that are at their disposal.
With KCR hinting at cash for vote scam, the centre “ordering” IT raids and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Pawan Kalyan taking streets to settle political scores with Naidu, it appears the TDP supremo should get ready for a lonely battle as he is one against many. #KhabarLive