When only power matters

When only power matters

The Andhra Pradesh government will be completing four years on June 7. The state which started its journey as a truncated state faced several odds and continues to face several challenges in the run-up to the 2019 elections. The bright side of it is that it has been moving forward slowly but steadily.

The Andhra Pradesh government will be completing four years on June 7. The state which started its journey as a truncated state faced several odds and continues to face several challenges in the run-up to the 2019 elections. The bright side of it is that it has been moving forward slowly but steadily.

Till recently, it was felt that the next general election will be fought on the concept of social engineering and rebuilding the state as the sentiment factor has subsided. But the way political developments are taking place, it appears that the TDP will have to wage a multi-pronged fight against its opponents. The 2019 elections seem to be poised to witness a paradigm shift from sentiment to caste identity in terms of electoral mobilisation. The political scenario in the state presents a peculiar situation.

The main opposition YSRCP and Janasena party led by Pawan Kalyan have single point agenda. Target Naidu, but spare the saffron party. Though one needs to appreciate the efforts being put in by the YSRCP president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy who is currently in the midst of his padayatra braving the vagaries of hot and humid summer, his trusted lieutenants seem to be losing their balance and indulging in self-goals.

It was preposterous that the senior leader like Vijay Sai Reddy alleged that the Chief Minister is in possession of the diamond which has reportedly gone missing from TTD in his residence and demanded that his house be searched. The YSRCP president who is toiling so much should ensure that his efforts are not negated by such elements in his party. Politicians should ensure that at least God is spared from the political game of one-upmanship.

It is really unfortunate that leaders in Andhra Pradesh are coming up with all kinds of demands which most of the time are illogical. Criticising the government on policies, pinpointing its omissions and commissions and exposing scams, if any, is understandable, but, of late, the comments and allegations are putting even the social media to shame. The social media is generally criticised for its fake news on many issues, but the political leaders are hitting a new low in the language they use in levelling allegations and the promises they are making.

All of them blame that the TDP government has failed to implement the assurances it had given in its manifesto. They say that those assurances given by the present ruling party cannot be implemented, but they go on making all kinds of promises. The kind of promises they are making reminds me of a dialogue in a Telugu cinema where the late comedian AVS says “Free, Free, Free.”

The leaders, it appears, are not bothered about the financial implications involved in implementing the promises and its impact on the economy. Ultimately it is these voters whom they are trying to woo would be the worst sufferers if everything is free. The leaders should first understand that whatever money the government gets it is from the public who have no option but to pay the tax.

If this money is not handled prudently and if it has to be spent on implementing the assurances that are made left right and centre to come to power, no state can progress. While accusing one party of making too many promises, they should exhibit that they are more rationale and practical, but this is missing either due to their lack of administrative experience or proper advice from the seniors in the respective parties.

The latest entrant into electoral politics Pawan Kalyan took up 24-hour Porata deeksha on Friday. While his concern for the people who are affected with kidney-related diseases is appreciable, his demands are something which shows political immaturity. He demands that the government resolve the issue in 24 hours – but how? Even he does not know. For the sake of argument, let us agree with Pawan that the Government of Andhra Pradesh has failed to solve the problem. But then what exactly should be done?

Pawan who has entered the race and is dreaming of becoming the Chief Minister should have taken the advice from some top medical experts and come up with specific demands to help the people. He who promises to usher in a new trend in politics seems to be following the same trend of threatening opponents, stripping them and beating them up in the streets.

The Congress knows that they have failed to regain their lost ground and even four years after bifurcation no one takes them seriously. The BJP too is in no better condition. Irrespective of whether one supports the TDP or the YSRCP, all are unanimous in their opinion that BJP has been creating hurdles in the progress of the state and has cheated the people.

Against the backdrop of this situation, all the main parties which are vying to come to power are trying to play up the caste card once again. YSRCP and BJP want to divide the Kapu votes. Kapus are a dominant community spread over four coastal districts and their votes are undoubtedly crucial for any political party.
Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham who is said to be acting on behalf of the YSRCP launched a series of protests seeking to pin down Naidu on his quota promise.

Though the government has passed a bill in the Assembly for providing 5 per cent reservations to the community, there is no possibility of the Centre accepting it now. All opposition parties want to exploit this issue as Kapus constitute 22 per cent of the electorate. But then the big question is do they have a solution? Can the BJP assure that they would give ensure that Kapus get reservation if voted to power at the Centre in 2019? For that matter will Congress make such a promise? There is no point in other leaders like Jagan or Pawan talking about it since it is the Centre which has to take the steps to include it in Ninth Schedule.

Faced with all these challenges and the poor performance of some of the party MLAs, will TDP be able to play key role in uniting all the anti-BJP parties at the national level and play the role of king maker? At this point of time, this definitely sounds like a tall order. The TDP leaders feel that the Mahanadu which is being held from Sunday will give some direction to the rank and file on all these issues.

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