Nara Chandrababu Naidu, president of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) that was founded by the late N T Rama Rao on a staunch anti-Congress plank, has “happily” joined hands with the same Congress, in a complete departure of the party’s avowed principles.
In fact, there is no political party, except the YSR Congress, with which the TDP has never entered into a political adjustment. And, Chandrababu Naidu, without a wink, has tried to justify the decision. The saga of the strange bedfellows has a long history.
“Mana vaalluu…briefed me”
Ever since Naidu’s trickery over an attempted bribery of cash for vote, infamously known as ‘mana vaallu… briefed me’ case, Naidu uprooted his establishment lock, stock and barrel from Hyderabad and moved to the yet-to-be-built capital of Amaravathi.
It may be recalled that then TDP legislator Revanth Reddy was exposed in full public glare on the TV channels handing over wads of currency to an Anglo-Indian MLA seeking his vote for TDP’s MLC contestant.
Soon, Naidu spared no efforts through his erstwhile political ally, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), to make peace with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.
The latter had softened the stand only to have a functional relationship with a neighbouring State.
Revanth, a TDP mole in Congress
Meanwhile, Naidu had schemed an exit of Revanth Reddy, working president of the TDP until then, from his party and “briefed” him to join the Congress, suggesting to him that he could fill the leadership vacuum in the Congress in Telangana. There was no political animosity whatsoever between Naidu and Reddy. On the other hand, his protege Revanth Reddy could be his mole in the Congress.
After smoking Revanth Reddy out of the Telangana TDP, Chandrababu Naidu had come up with another political game plan with the hope that he could ensnare KCR in the trap. He had proposed to KCR that the TDP and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) could join hands. However, a politically-mature KCR refused to walk into the trap.
Look at the way how Chandrababu Naidu has exposed himself when he described his party’s alliance with Congress as a ‘democratic compulsion’ due to ‘historic reasons’ and that it had to be done “only after TRS spurned his offer for a tie-up.”
Naidu, on Saturday, also said that KCR “poured cold water” on his plans to emerge as a potent force in south India by aligning the TDP and TRS.
“I proposed (to KCR) that we two should unite. Congress will be restricted to Karnataka. BJP and Congress have no place in Tamil Nadu. The two Telugu states will have the upper hand in south India if TDP and the TRS joined hands. He told me he will think it over and a week later turned down my offer,” Naidu said.
Congress, a second-rate choice
Does any Congress leader understand that their party is only “second-rated preference” in the eyes of Naidu? It’s only after TRS spurned his offer that he turned to the Congress, which is, of course, debunked by this analysis.
Naidu’s alliance with the Congress is a long-drawn process. After exiting the NDA, he shared dais with Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Bengaluru at the swearing-in ceremony of H D Kumaraswamy. Much before, he had done the necessary spadework by “exporting” Revanth Reddy with a view to closing ranks with the Congress and join the Congress-led political bandwagon.
Chandrababu Naidu, who took birth as a politician in the Congress in 1977, had claimed that he had 30 percent of Congress blood way back in 1995 on the floor of the Assembly, soon after dethroning NTR and usurping the party and power from the TDP patriarch.
For 2019 polls, Naidu has surreptitiously helped cobble up a grand alliance in Telangana with the Congress, the TDP, the CPI and the Telangana Jana Samithi of Prof Kodandaram.
In fact, there is no political party – be it Communists (1989, 1994, 1996, 1998) or the BJP (1985, 1999, 2004) or the Congress (United Front Government with Congress support in 1996-98) or the TRS (2009) with which the Telugu Desam did not have a truck at one point in time or the other in its three and a half decades of existence.
Almost always, political expediency overshadowed other considerations. There are no takers for Naidu’s other concocted stories.