Opinion: For Chandrababu Naidu’s Bicycle, A Puncture Is All It Takes

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Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu would typically take a jibe at each public assembly he addressed — that his political rival Jagan Mohan Reddy has hung out in jail.

For the YSRCP and its chief, it rankled.

Mr Naidu preferred to say he was the upright one, who was among the many first politicians to voluntarily declare his annual revenue and that of his household. He boasted that he was an apostle of fact and uprightness who stood for improvement of the state.

Now YSRCP leaders brazenly say it’s payback time. Movies have spawned that includes an previous video of Jagan Mohan Reddy saying he took a slap and his time will come.

That point, it appears, is now.

Chandrababu Naidu has been despatched to jail by a particular court docket in Vijayawada, which accepted prima facie proof that he was the prime conspirator in a case of diverting authorities cash to non-public entities.

There are movies of celebrations by YSRCP leaders and cadre, although they had been reportedly instructed to not rejoice.

The picture of a 73-year-old politician, extensively revered by the individuals, being despatched to jail may evoke sympathy. That could be a probability the YSRCP wouldn’t need to take.

Its leaders, nonetheless, say there isn’t any query of sympathy for Mr Naidu.

They level out that when Chandrababu Naidu superior elections in 2004 following a Maoist assault on his life, hoping to money in on sympathy, he had misplaced to the Congress and YS Rajasekhar Reddy.

Telugu Desam leaders and cadre seem surprised and but to determine easy methods to battle this onslaught. There have been audio leaks of TDP leaders asking its cadre to come back out and present their frustration.

However the YSRCP authorities has managed to cease the protests from turning violent and taking up headlines.

With elections simply months away, the YSRCP versus TDP battle will likely be fought as a lot, if no more, within the public area than inside courts — as a result of public notion issues extra within the theatre of politics.

This time, if Mr Naidu and his staff are busy enjoying defence, attempting to remain out of jail and bother, placing up a full-fledged battle for victory in elections may turn out to be a problem.

Politics in Andhra Pradesh is private, vicious and nasty. It’s a battle the place punching straight and punching under the belt are practised routinely for political influence.

So whereas the technicalities are argued in court docket, it will likely be a free-for-all exterior, with YSRCP calling the TDP names and the TDP accusing the YSRCP of enjoying soiled.

Each YSRCP and the TDP have their loyal following in Andhra Pradesh and so at political rallies, fairly often, there are clashes when the 2 come face-to-face. That’s solely prone to worsen.

Already, Chandrababu Naidu has spent 5 years out of energy and for a regional social gathering, that makes issues robust. Mr Naidu’s Telugu Desam was as soon as a celebration with deep pockets, with many businessmen-turned-politicians offering it with the gasoline to battle elections.

In the previous few years, a lot of these mates in enterprise parted methods with him as legal instances filed by a number of Central companies put their main enterprise curiosity in peril.

Mr Naidu made a expensive mistake in 2018-19, when he cut up methods with the BJP and took on its management, demanding particular class standing for Andhra Pradesh. Many see it as a entice set for him by Jagan Mohan Reddy, who had performed his playing cards fastidiously and cleverly.

Mr Naidu has realised that it doesn’t pay to have highly effective enemies and tried a number of instances to increase a hand of friendship once more in the direction of the NDA. However the BJP was apparently not prepared to forgive and overlook.

For Mr Naidu, strolling away from the tag of Remand Prisoner quantity 7691 at Rajamahendravam Central Jail goes to be robust as a result of whereas the authorized battle is fought, his political opponents will throw it at him at each attainable alternative.

YSRCP leaders are speaking about how that is solely the start. There may be far more to come back and never for Naidu alone. His son Nara Lokesh will likely be arrested quickly, stated state tourism minister Roja. The state CID chief had additionally hinted at questioning the previous IT minister.

Lower than two weeks in the past, there have been stories that Chandrababu Naidu had obtained discover from the Revenue Tax division that he had not disclosed Rs 118 crore revenue that he allegedly acquired as kickback from high infra corporations Shapoorji Pallonji and L&T. The corporations had been awarded contracts price 1000’s of crores in Amaravati when he was Chief Minister.

All that’s going to make it tough-pedalling for Chandrababu Naidu. Given his age and a dearth of second rung leaders, it will likely be an uphill process for the bicycle. A puncture is all it takes.

(Uma Sudhir is Government Editor, NDTV)

Disclaimer: These are the non-public opinions of the writer.

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