Discontent Among Long-Time Associates Of Chandrababu Naidu
Though Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is seen not facing any worthwhile political challenges in his state due to demoralised Opposition and his strong relations with the BJP, which is a part of his government and also his party Telugu Desam party which is taking part in Narendra Modi government, internal party affairs are seems to be not so fair.
Seven months of his returning to power, Chandrababu Naidu seems to be falling in the grip of new generation of ‘corporate style’ leadership in the party, resulting in distrust and dissidence among long-time associates. Though almost all senior leaders in the party are unhappy with the growing clout of such new generation leaders in the administration, hardly few are expressing openly. Among them, deputy Chief Minister and prominent leader of backward classes from Rayalaseema region K E Krishnamurthy is not leaving any opportunity to express his discontent in open over the administration of Chandrababu Naidu.
In almost all the districts, ‘old guards’ are resenting giving prominence to ‘new generation’ leaders or giving preferring ‘defected’ leaders from other political parties. Few ministers are openly opposing to encourage defections from other parties in their districts. The ‘old guards’ are also unable to digest growing influence of Chandrababu Naidu’s son Lokesh in governance issues. Incidentally, party founder N T Rama Rao’s native district, Krishna is emerging as centre of activity for open rebellion in the party.
The TDP circles are worrying with open discontent being exhibited by Krishnamurthy. Now, he has given all indications to go out in open so to prepare ground for a future rebellion against Chandrababu Naidu by using his ‘backward class’ card. He is making moves to mobilise BC population behind him by organizing a massive public meeting around the newly-proposed capital zone between Vijayawada-Guntur.
Even though Krishnamurthy claims the proposed meet is aimed at garnering the support of BCs for the efforts of the government to build the new capital near Vijayawada, political circles are suspecting a ‘secret’ agenda. The date and venue are yet to be finalized. But his supporters are already swinging into action by contacting many BC leaders in the state. All the BC ministers in the State Cabinet along with prominent BC leaders are said to be invited for the meet.
Krishnamurthy is not hiding his displeasure over the way Chandrababu Naidu allegedly prefers businessmen-turned-politicos to career politicians in his Cabinet. The proposed meeting is said to be to revive his past glory in the party. According to sources, Machilipatnam MP and senior TDP BC leader Konakalla Narayana has assured his full support for the meeting and also to take the responsibility of logistic arrangements. Konakalla has now become president of the AP Goud Sangham, which is a formidable BC community in both states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
It may be recalled that Krishnamurthy had earlier revolted against the then Chief Minister N T Rama Rao, years before Chandrababu Naidu engineered a ‘coup’ after Rao had unseated the entire cabinet team making them responsible for ‘budget leak’ in 1987. Along with few other senior leaders like Vasantha Nageswara Rao, K Jana Reddy and Mudragada Padmanabham, he too had quit Telugu Desam Party and started a new regional outfit ‘Jana Nadu’. However, later it had merged with the Congress.
UNHAPPY OVER ASSEMBLY PERFORMANCE
Just few days ago, on Dec 23, Krishnamurthy made some sensational comments during a chit-chat with the reporters on the concluding day of five-day winter session of the state Assembly stating that ministers are not given a chance to speak in the Assembly. Without hiding his displeasure against Chief Minister, he said that Chandrababu Naidu is ignoring his party ministers in the Assembly so none of them are getting a chance to speak in the Assembly.
He also added sald to the injury by appreciating the Leader of Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s performance in the Assembly. It may be recalled that Jaganmohan Reddy is considered to be ‘political enemy no 1’ in the state for both Chandrababu Naidu and TDP. However, the deputy chief minister referring to Jaganmohan Reddy’s riposte skills in the Assembly said that YS Jagan got mileage by standing up for the farmers and raising their issues.
SIDELINED IN CAPITAL ISSUE
Being Revenue Minister, Krishnamurthy was unhappy for keeping him aside with regard to land acquiring for the new capital and all issues related to it, pushing Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana, who holds a major corporate chain of educational institutions in the state and new to power politics, to forefront.
Referring to Chandrababu Naidu’s decision to secure land for new capital through ‘land pooling’, Krishn-amurthy stated that ‘Land pooling issue turned as an advantage to the YSRCP chief Jagan Reddy. The farmer’s who are going to lose their lands are immensely satisfied with the way Jagan advocated their rights in his speech in the Assembly.
Even he went to the extent of stating that Jagan has improved a lot when compared to the previous assembly sessions. Though chief minister is trying to create an impression among people that works to build a new capital are likely begun in few months, he bluntly said the laying of the foundation stone for the capital may take not less than two years time.
Meanwhile, Kesana Shankar Rao, the newly-elected president of the AP unit of BC Welfare Association, founded by Telangana TDP MLA R Krishnaiah, held a meeting in Guntur on Jan 3. He confirmed that he had invited Krishnamurthy but denied that the latter had anything to do with the meeting.
VIJAYAWADA MP OUTBURST
Differences in the ruling TDP came to the fore with Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) taking Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao head on at a function in full public view on December 26. In an advice laced with sarcasm, he suggested that Uma, considered numero uno in Krishna district party affairs, discuss issues related to development of Vijayawada with other people’s representatives and with him rather than just review proposals with officials.
The MP said because of the actions of the minister and officials, the state government’s image was taking a beating. “Though Vijayawada has been declared capital of AP more than six months ago, there has so far been no development,” he alleged. Venting his ire on officials for keeping him in the dark on projects, he termed the sewage treatment plant—inaugurated at the function by Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana a little earlier—useless.
He targeted police commissioner AB Venkateswara Rao, who is considered to be close to Chief Minister, for “imposing night curbs” on the movement of people, and municipal officials for poor sanitation. If the commissioner’s action brought bad name to the city, the municipal officials’ lack of interest had resulted in piling up of garbage all around, he said. Nani blamed lack of coordination between officials and people’s representatives for the delay in getting the clearance for a flyover at Kanakadurga temple. “The file is pending in Delhi, but no one discusses the subject with me,” he exclaimed. Though Nani named these people, indirectly his outbursts seem to be targeting Chief Minister for ‘ignoring’ his presence in the affairs related to new capital.
OTHER DISTRICTS TOO
In Visakhapatnam district, Panchayati Raj Minister Ch.Ayyanna Patrudu, who is serving the party since its inception, also expressed his reservation on the issue of allowing ‘defections’ from YSR Congress party in the district and also growing clout of Education Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who is known for frequent changes of parties, in the district. In Prakasam district, party senior Karanam Balaram is unhappy over allowing one opposition MLA into the party. On most of these issues, Chandrababu Naidu is maintaining silence or ignoring without giving any sense of his intention to mend his ways.
By C h Narendra from Hyderabad