Chandrababu Naidu has announced TDP's support to YSR Congress-sponsored no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government. While accusing YS Jagan Mohan Reddy of indulging in politics of surrender despite public posturing, Naidu, however, said that his party will support the no-confidence vote in the interest of Andhra Pradesh whatever may be the intentions of its sponsors. Notwithstanding such claims Naidu's decision to support Jagan Mohan instead of himself taking up the initiative can prove to be a strategic blunder.
YSRCP MP YV Subba Reddy on Thursday notified the Lok Sabha Secretary-General to move the motion of no-confidence in the Council of Ministers and has requested that it be included in the list of business on Friday. Though the no-confidence motion does not mean anything for the ruling BJP led coalition as it enjoys a comfortable majority in Lok Sabha, the politics surrounding it would certainly have political implications in Andhra Pradesh.
Earlier, the TDP supremo Naidu said that his party will move the no-confidence motion as the last resort against the NDA government if their demands are not met. But, even before, the TDP thought the time has come for this last resort. Jagan Mohan who earlier said that his party would move the no-confidence motion in the last week of the ongoing budget session has preponed his decision and gave the notice for the motion on Thursday thus driving the TDP to a corner. Naidu who earlier withdrew his ministers from the Modi led ministry to outsmart Jagan Mohan lost the political initiative to the opposition leader in the final round of the ongoing political battle.
A seasoned politician like Naidu should have anticipated the opposition move. Being in government, the TDP will also have intelligence inputs on the moves of YSR Congress. Yet, the party failed to move the no-confidence motion before Jagan Mohan takes a call.
Even before the TDP formally quit the NDA, the no-confidence issue came to the fore forcing the TDP to declare its support. In fact, Jagan Mohan earlier said that his party would give a no-confidence notice or would be ready to support the TDP if the latter does so.
Speaking to Firstpost, a TDP senior leader said that it became inevitable for the party to support YSR Congress-sponsored no-confidence motion as the opposition was trying to expose their party. But, he failed to explain why Naidu failed to do the same.
In his letter to different political leaders YSRCP's Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote, "If even after this no-confidence motion, the Central government is reluctant to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh, all our party MPs will tender resignation from their seats on 6 April."
Nothing is going to happen. The Centre has made it clear many a time that the question of special category status is closed and shut case in the wake of 14th Finance Commission recommendations.
Therefore, the YSR Congress MPs would resign from Parliament. Should the TDP members follow? If they do, they would, in fact, be giving Jagan Mohan yet another advantage. If they do not resign, it will be portrayed by the YSR Congress as betraying people's interests to cling to power. Thus, by conceding on the question of the no-confidence vote, the TDP has lost yet another opportunity on the issue of resignation of MPs. In fact, Naidu got an upper hand after he pulled out his ministers and TDP MPs staging continuous protests in Parliament. But, he remained indecisive on quitting NDA and moving a no-confidence motion as a last resort.
This is not the first time, such an experienced leader lost in playing politics. He disowned the special category status and agreed to Centre's proposal to grant special package in lieu of special status. But, after promising to get legal backing to the package, the party miserably failed to convince the Modi government to accord statutory recognition to the promised special package.
Naidu earlier, stated that special status is not a panacea. But, as the YSR Congress stood firm on the special status and announced its action programme like no-confidence vote and resignation of MPs, Naidu was left with no option except to demand special status. This itself eroded his credibility.
As the special status issue like the bifurcation of 2014 fast becoming a sentiment that can have political implications, Naidu failing to effectively steer through the campaign has certainly disappointed TDP followers.
In fact, TDP has all along been accusing Jagan Mohan of hobnobbing with the BJP due to cases pending against him. But, now Jagan Mohan taking the lead against the Modi government and TDP supporting him, such a criticism of the opposition leader by the TDP loses steam.
The writer is former MLC in Telangana, former editor, The Hans India and Professor, Journalism, Osmania University.
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Updated Date: Mar 15, 2018 22:34:15 IST