After UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi “highlighted” that her party, if voted to power, would grant Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh at the recent Medchal public meeting, Rahul Gandhi showcased Chandrababu Naidu as Congress party’s new poster boy during his roadshows in Telangana.
The new-found love is not for Telangana, it is for AP elections, as they knew their “dosthanee” is only a dramatic act in Telangana.
Though the TDP-friendly media and social media tried to levitate the image of Sonia Gandhi and invoke a “non-existent emotion” vented out by her saying she felt as if she was meeting her children after four years, the poor and organized attendance at a small ground spoke volumes of the reality.
Ditto with the roadshows and public meetings of Rahul Gandhi and Chandrababu Naidu, collectively and separately. The poor translation of Rahul Gandhi’s observations on the budgets, per capita debt, etc by another “star campaigner” of the party Revanth Reddy and Congress campaign committee chairman Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka (painting of tanks) added the much-needed fun element.
When Mrs. Gandhi suddenly blurted out at the Medchal meeting that the Congress, if voted to power, would grant special category status for Andhra Pradesh, people of Telangana were in for a rude shock. It’s not because she promised SCS for AP, but why was she announcing that in Telangana election meeting.
This amply sent signals that the Congress-TDP tie-up was not meant for fighting an election in Telangana. Also, Naidu, who never went to polls without an alliance with one party or the other, has just decided to piggyback on the Congress and ride a roughshod on everyone else. His speeches were long on jingoistic claims and short on a roadmap of his party for Telangana.
It is a desperate attempt by the AP Chief Minister to regain a foothold in Telangana, which he surely knows is impossible.
Sonia Gandhi’s SCS utterance is in fact against the interests of not only Telangana but even to neighbouring States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Orissa. If AP gets an SCS, the other States would lose an opportunity to attract new industries. The subsidies offered under the SCS would surely be attractive to the investors. It is a broader decision that needs to be taken.
In fact, KCR has highlighted that the Centre must give concessions to Telangana too exactly akin to those offered to AP, in the event of the truncated State is given SCS.
While her insipid speech could not rev up the enthusiasm of the party cadres, her son and Congress president is one step ahead. He will share the dais with Chandrababu Naidu in his rallies and public meetings in Telangana.
Interestingly, in less than a week, people have forgotten that a meeting like that had ever happened, thanks to histrionics of the Congress-TDP campaign in the last two days.
What message has Mr. Gandhi sent across to the people? He, without admitting in so many words, indicated that he surrendered the interests of the Congress and its stature to Naidu.
A TDP mouthpiece in the vernacular media ran a story on Thursday that the Rahul Gandhi had left it to the decision of Naidu whether or not to align with the Congress in the AP elections. It’s now Naidu’s call whether there would be a friendly contest between the TDP and the Congress in Andhra Pradesh or they would fight the polls together in the elections to be held in AP in about four to five months?
Has Rahul Gandhi’s rubbing shoulders with Naidu on common dais meant that both parties have withdrawn the charges they levied against each other for three decades or more? In fact, Chandrababu Naidu spoke in such a tone that the Congress endorsed his own rule (or misrule?) and that he has condoned the allegations his party made against the Congress, including the “unscientific bifurcation” of the State.
Rahul Gandhi had to obliquely refer to Chandrababu Naidu’s claim that he had developed Hyderabad and endorse the same. Rahul Gandhi seemed to have tried to infuse new lease of life into the dead Congress in AP and decided to piggyback on Naidu to win a handful seats?
Some vested interests in national media too are penning planted stories that Naidu could be the choice for the post of Prime Minister in the event of a non-BJP alliance led by the Congress making it to power.
Whatever these ‘strange bedfellows’ may claim, people of Telangana are clever enough to see through the machinations of both and understand the reality.