Issue :   
December 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         December 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:December' 2018


Naidu at old game, again

Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao

Chandra Babu Naidu Chandra Babu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, is spending more time now for the opposition unity at the national level projecting himself as the new messiah for the anti -BJP parties. Ever since he walked out of the NDA , Naidu has made the issue of anti, BJP as a personal affront.
Naidu is now a sworn enemy of Modi. The anti-Modi platform, which was first evident on the eve of oath- taking of Kumara Swamy as the CM of Karnataka in Bangalore, was shaken when BSP supremo Mayavati announced her decision not to align with the Congress in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, and Mamata Banerjee, the other champion of the anti Modi club, looked the other way.

Mayawati and Mamata Banerjee Politically, Naidu is in his weakest phase in Andhra Pradesh politics . The opposition led by Jaganmohan Reddy (Jagan) has taken lead with his marathon walk across the 13 districts of the state. Jagan knows that another defeat will push him into political oblivion. The recent knife attack on the leader of the opposition Jagan at the Visakhapatnam airport turned out to be a political drama.

YS Jaganmohan Reddy attacked with knife at Visakhapatnam airport Pavan Kalyan, the cine heroturned founder of political party Jana Sena, is attracting huge crowds in the earlier TDP strongholds. Naidu believes that it is the BJP game plan to make Jagan and Pavan to join hands to end TDP rule. If that really happens Chandra Babu has no option but to sit back in opposition. Besides, the murky financial deals of people who are close to Chandra Babu are under the scanner of Central agencies.
So for Chandra Babu Naidu there is no other option but to take a plunge and create a political bulwark and stop the Central agencies from proceeding any further. Initially, he himself was not confident of the acceptance of his role by other parties. But the Karnataka byelections results, where the JD(S) and the Congress combination could trounce the BJP in almost all seats barring one, including the BJP bastion Bellari, gave confidence to Naidu.
Chandra Babu Naidu rushed to Bangalore to meet JD(S) ‘old man’ HD Deva Gowda and to Chennai to meet the DMK party leader, MK Stalin. The trips to other states, where regional parties are in power or where regional parties have potentially strong leadership, may follow to firm up the initiation he has taken by meeting Akhilesh Yadav, Farooq Abdullah, Mamata Benarjee before finally knocking at the door of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Chandra Babu Naidu is selling the idea of a rainbow coalition, named United Front (UF). Through this idea he is offering the post of PM to almost all regional party leaders.

While Chandra Babu’s meetings with other politicians is understandable, the meeting and surrendering to the Congress party certainly baffled many, including his own senior colleagues in Andhra Pradesh and the Congressmen themselves. State Congress party leaders, who have been running a campaign against the CM of the state for his failures on all fronts, are at a loss to explain the change of heart of the Congress high command. The TDP was started by the late NT Rama Rao in 1982. NTR abhorred the Congress .
Naidu is a well known political weather-cock sailing in whichever way the winds are blowing. In his 40-year political experience Chandra Babu has not won any election on the plank of either his own administrative image positive electoral campaign. It was his scheme to project someone as the ‘villain’ for his State and himself as the saviour for the occasion. That has been his repetitive political script ever since Chandra Babu overthrow his own father-in-law and founder of party NT Rama Rao.
Chandra Babu Naidu always sided with the BJP to win the elections in the state. He won in 1999 on the BJP’s Kargil war ‘victory’ and pro-Vajpayee wave. He lost 2004 and 2009 elections when there was no wave in favour of the BJP.
Chandra Babu Naidu as CM announced that he would arrest Narendra Modi if he enters Hyderabad in the wake of post Godhra killings in Gujarat. He had no qualms to approach BJP and Modi to cash 2014 pro-Modi wave to come back to power.

The anti-BJP parties may be happy with the turn of Chandra Babu Naidu but the social media, which is playing a greater and decisive role in influencing the politics, is not amused. The videos of his earlier statements are out. At the time of aligning with the BJP in 2014, Chandra Babu Naidu said that he was doing it to save the nation from “corrupt Congress.” Now the seasoned politician in him states that he is aligning with the Congress to save “the nation and democracy”.

His dream project of new capital Amaravathi has remained ‘graphic city’ rather than a reality. The other project of Polavaram, multipurpose dam is a Central project. He can’t claim it. Naidu is selling the idea of a rainbow coalition, named United Front (UF).

Through this idea, he is offering the post of PM to almost all regional party leaders. Naidu hopes to cleverly shift the attention of voters from what he has done to the State of AP during the last four years of his rule. If his political game plan clicks, and the BJP is defeated by the grand alliance Chandra Babu would be safe even if he lost the AP assembly. He retains the option of offering himself as an alternative PM candidate for the Third Front.