Telugu Desam Party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu has clearly chiseled his way forward and also set goals for his political ally, the BharatiyaJanata Party (BJP), with his long and heavy economic wish list for the residual Andhra Pradesh. In doing so, he has also proposed an underlying political schema for his electoral ally about ‘Vision-2019’ on Telangana too.
Much before being elected the Telugu Desam Legislature Party leader and being sworn-in the Chief Minister, which is just a formality, Naidu began frequenting New Delhi.
The heavy wish list is likely to impinge the freedom of the Bharaitya Janata Party-led NDA Government at the Centre vis-à-vis making financial commitments to other States. The BJP may even force itself to review its avowed policy of smaller States.
Naidu, who keeps on talking about long-term vision, actually tries to translate that into reality politically. He has vowed to beat the Telangana Government under his one-time chum and now bête noire K ChandrasekharaRao hollow and also shine in contrast and posture himself once again as a “development Chief Minister”.
Deft at the agenda-setting function, Naidu called on 11 Union Ministers, including Prime Minister NarendraModi in just one day on Friday.
The issues raised included the post-bifurcation revenue deficit of Rs 13,579 crore for residual Andhra Pradesh; special package for the new State; expediting the work on Polavaram project; securing the promised national level educational institutions like IIM, IIT, NIT and Central University for the new State; Petro-chemical corridor on the East Coast; and above all sharing of burden of his mega electoral promise of waiver of farm loans and DWCRA loans, which alone are accounting for over Rs. 80,000 crore.
Naidu proposes to append his first signature on the farm loan waiver file in front of all at his grandiose public swearing-in ceremony for which a sprawling 70-acre land is being spruced up alongside the National Highway No 5 between Guntur and Vijayawada.
Prime Minister NarendraModi is also invited for the swearing-in ceremony apart from several non-Congress Chief Ministers like Jayalalithaa, Naveen Patnaik, Shivaraj Singh Chowhan, and ManoharParrikar.
He aptly used the two-day annual jamboree of the Telugu Desam Party, famously called as ‘Maha Nadu’, marking the 91st birth anniversary of its founder N T Rama Rao, held on May 27 and 28, tosend across a loud and clear message that all successes were his and any delays or hindrances were of the Centre.
Naidu premised his agenda completely on financial support he is seeking from Delhi. He asserted that he would make very frequent visits to Delhi for securing maximum assistance for Andhra Pradesh. Cleverly he did not take any exception to allotting more power to Telangana, though most utilities were located in Andhra Pradesh. Instead, by urging the Union Government to make up for the loss from NTPC, he conveyed a message that his party was equally concerned about the Telangana region.
By spelling out nearly categorically that it was the responsibility of his alliance partner Narendra Modi to come to the rescue of the debt-ridden residual Andhra Pradesh, Naidu has insulated himself from any criticism that he has failed to implement the poll promises. This is called political vision or farsightedness.
Naidu, who has been basking in the success of his party’s victory in the elections, is showing the way how to wangle funds from the Centre by remaining its most trust-worthy alliance partner.
Touching upon all major departments, he has already made the BJP leadership know that his three-dimensional coordinates -- within the Union Government, the BJP organization, and the National Democratic Alliance -- would work with dexterity until the goal is achieved. The fourth dimension that got added now is the time factor, for he is now in a hurry to show results on the poll promises, Polavaram National Irrigation Project and the new State Capital. This would help him consolidate his party’s strength politically in Andhra Pradesh.
He has two articulate leaders in M Venkaiah Naidu and P Ashok GajapathiRaju in NarendraModi’s Cabinet to pursue his politico-economic agenda and he may have more of his men once Modi chooses to expand his Cabinet and offers some more posts for the TDP only to leverage the advantage of being there and doing that.
As every assumption of his detractors, political and analytical, savaged, Naidu is slowly slipping into his old rhetoric of pointing fingers at the media first in his typical style of taking potshots. Whenever he is interacting with media, he is surreptitiously hinting that they have all miserably goofed in gauging the public pulse and his party’s triumph.
He is asking the media to cooperate with the Government in building a new State from the scratch, instead of cornering the political leadership. Thus, Naidu, as is his wont, sets the agenda even for media too.
If he can arm-twist the BJP to meet his demands, Naidu obviously claims credit for the same. If he loses the plot, even more naturally he blames it on the alliance partner. If someone is distraught with his approach, he gives a damn. After all, he did not spare the legendary NTR.
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Updated Date: Jun 01, 2014 20:21:16 IST