A practised politico and his Delhi dreams
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Raos outburst against his AP counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu has made it amply clear that the Telangana leader will do his best to make life difficult for his political adversary as he pursues his federal front initiative at the national level
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s outburst against his AP counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu has made it amply clear that the Telangana leader will do his best to make life difficult for his political adversary as he pursues his federal front initiative at the national level.
Any hope of rapprochement between the two leaders has evaporated into the thin year with Chandrashekar Rao using choicest expletives against Naidu at his recent news conference. He sought to ridicule Naidu as to how he could entertain national ambitions when he cannot speak a word in English or in Hindi. He described Naidu as the dirtiest politician in the country and that he was not a leader at all and that he is just a manager.
Though Naidu reacted to Chandrashekar Rao’s power punches, they were not as forceful as the latter’s were. Naidu tried to touch some grey areas in Chandrashekar Rao’s past and did not even hesitate to mention Viceroy incident in 1995 which he feels very touchy, where, he said Chandrashekar Rao was the chief strategist in pulling the rug under NTR’s feet.
He also took a jibe at Chandrashekar Rao for calling him uncouth with English and Hindi and tried to portray the Telangana leader as some kind of leader who lives in delusions that he was a literary genius which he was not.
That Chandrashekar Rao is seething with rage against Naidu is quite apparent with his incendiary comments against him. The seeds for this fresh hatred were sown in the past. It all started when Chandrababu Naidu had tried to make an insurrection into Telangana and dethrone Chandrashekar Rao from power.
Since he alone cannot do it as the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) remained dead duck in Telangana, he joined hands with the Congress and made a vain attempt to get even with Chandrashekar Rao, for dividing the State and confining him to Andhra Pradesh.
Ever since the division of the State, Naidu has not been able to come to grips with the reality that Telangana with Hyderabad had been cut off from his reach. He keeps saying that if he had not played an important role, Hyderabad would have just remained a large slum.
He keeps saying how he had brought Microsoft and International School of Business to Hyderabad among others through his soliloquies to the point of exhausting the listeners who are, most of often than not, are journalists.
hen Chandrashekar Rao went for early elections to the Assembly, Naidu, who restrained himself till then from dabbling in Telangana politics, went for the kill. He had a sense of deja vu that he had a coalition government in Telangana in which the TDP was a partner and that his bete noir Chandrashekar Rao is down in the dumps. But fate had readied a different fare for Naidu.
Chandrashekar Rao had warned Naidu against dabbling his feet in Telangana implying that if he did, he would be doing so at his own risk. When Naidu made an entry into Telangana, Chandrashekar Rao felt he had a ready weapon in his hands to use against Naidu.
He immediately threw by the wayside his plan of showcasing his welfare schemes but went in full steam and played on the emotive issue of Telangana sentiment by projecting Naidu as Telangana traitor who was raring to make a fresh expedition into the State with an intention to plunder it once again which helped Chandrashekar Rao reap a rich harvest of seats and conquer Naidu for the second time.
Now it is time for payback for Chandrashekar Rao. Immediately after the election, he had no secret of settling his political scores with Naidu and only on Saturday night he said he would take care of Naidu and poured abuses on him in a shower of confetti, at which art Chandrashekar Rao has no match.
The Telangana Chief Minister shed his guard for a brief moment when a reporter asked him how he could not take Naidu on board in his federal front mission when his intention was to bring together all anti-BJP forces, he shot back at him asking him if the TDP was the only party in Andhra Pradesh.
This implied that Chandrashekar Rao wants to have YS Jaganmohan Reddy, and if need be, Pawan Kalyan by his side in his machinations to craft a coalition of national parties that are ranged against the BJP and the Congress to evolve a system where the Centre’s power would be limited while States would have many, since he believes, it was the States, and not the Centre, which are directly involved in serving the people.
Chandrashekar Rao has reiterated that he would present Naidu “a return gift” which means that he was not ready to forgive Naidu and move on. He said he was annoyed by the campaign against him when he visited Visakhapatnam to take the blessings of a pontiff, which attributed the reasons for the crowd that milled to see him, to his velama caste and that the YSRCP was behind in organising the pro- Chandrashekar Rao multitudes, banners and warm reception at the airport. He wanted to know why Naidu was trying to needle him all the time, not leaving him even when he was visiting a pontiff in whom he had faith. He said it was his personal belief and neither States had anything to do with it.
With Chandrashekar Rao’s assertion that he would avenge Naidu for challenging him in the Assembly elections, the AP leader’s fears seem to be coming true. All along he has been saying that all his adversaries had joined hands to launch a pincer attack on him.
He felt that Chandrashekar Rao, the YSRCP and the Jana Sena were working in close concert with invisible support from the BJP to defeat him in the next elections. In fact, it was one of the reasons why Naidu made a foray into Telangana, hand-in-hand with the Congress, so that the TRS would not come to power and when he finally faces elections in April, he would not have to bother much about Chandrashekar Rao since he would be out of power and a friendly government in Telangana would help him in his elections too.
Bu with his calculations going awry, Naidu will now have to reckon with Chandrashekar Rao who has emerged much stronger with 88 seats in his kitty than before. There is another reason why Chandrashekar Rao would help the YSRCP because he wants to become a major force at the Centre and without help from Jaganmohan Reddy it may not be possible for him.
His calculations are that if Jaganmohan Reddy wins at least 15 Lok Sabha seats in AP, they would add to his Telangana tally of 16 assuming that he would win all the seats. The AIMIM, his ally would win Hyderabad anyway.
With about 30 Lok Sabha seats in his pocket, he would emerge as a strong force at the Centre and would be in a position to do his political jockeying either to become a kingmaker or if his luck plays out, might even reach a striking distance from the Prime Minister’s gaddi.
At the moment, Mayawati, Mamta and Akhilesh are as slippery as proverbial eels, not letting one know on whose side they would be. It all depends on which way the cookie would crumble to firm up their stand and Chandrashekar Rao wants to position himself in such a way that if the dice falls in his favour he should be around to make the most of it.
If the three leaders are on Chandrashekar Rao’s side, he would be on the gravy train. Chandrashekar Rao wants a repeat of Karnataka at the national level where regional parties would be calling the shots and national parties would go crawling before them.