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BJP vs TDP: A selfish tussle for political mileage in Andhra Pradesh
There aren't permanent enemies or friends in politics, it is said. Genuinely, long-lasting benefits for the country alone must be the criterion. Unfortunately, own benefits of different parties (narrow vision) which are quite against the larger interest of the nation have paid a heavy price so far.

All political parties somehow try to get power and do not hesitate to resort to anti-people trends to sustain it. To usurp power, they form into coalitions with parties that have divergent policies. After coming into power in this manner, they try to safeguard each others' selfish interests leaving people in the lurch.

Camraderie between the BJP and the TDP is a classic example to this trend. As a principle of alliance, both the parties successfully safeguarded their mutual interests for four years. Now they are up against each other clearly for political reasons.

Before bifurcation of the united Andhra Pradesh state, the then UPA government had promised to grant special category status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh for five years from the day of bifurcation. Then BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu who often plays the role of a political pundit wanted the government to extend the SCS for 10 years instead of five. Then Chandrababu Naidu who was the opposition leader in the state at that time, demanded that it be extended for five more years. After the BJP came to power, it took U-turn and said that rules did not permit for grant of SCS to Andhra Pradesh, hence a package with benefits equivalent to the SCS would be offered to Andhra Pradesh. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu without any hesitation happily agreed to that as part of the "coalition dharma."

In fact, it is not a hard thing for any government in the Centre to offer SCS to Andhra Pradesh. But Telengana, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and some other states have also put forth similar demands in case SCS is granted to AP.

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have openly stated that their industries would migrate to Andhra Pradesh if SCS is granted. As the Centre understood the gravity of the situation in case of grant of SCS, with the view to avoid opening the Pandora's box, it went ahead and put it into cold storage. Thus, injustice has been caused to the state. Because of this, the BJP, as part of the "coalition dharma" influenced Chandrababu Naidu to concede to special package in lieu of SCS.

The Centre promised to offer package for some reason while Naidu nodded to it for another. Babu evidently committed a historical blunder by okaying the 'package offer' which came to him as a blessing in disguise to satisfy his pecuniary thirst. But Naidu tried to diplomatically cover his greed by saying that the SCS was not a panacea and it would be better to maintain good relations with the Centre for the bright future of the state. He went one step ahead and tried to justify his words by saying that the states which were already granted the SCS did not make any progress.

Interestingly, the "coalition dharma" took a beating right from the day Chandrababu Naidu's political pal Venkaiah Naidu was sidelined from the cabinet portfolio by making him vice-president which is undoubtedly a promotion but a token portfolio that dissuades his meddling in state affairs. BJP and RSS circles knew pretty well that there was good friendship between the Naidu duo. Venkaiah Naidu oft-times went public that it was with his encouragement alone that Chandrababu Naidu chose Amaravati as capital of the AP state.

Chandrababu followed the advice of Venkaiah naidu only against the honest recommendations of the Sivaramakrishnan Committee which was appointed by the Centre for the purpose of selecting the capital area. It was a blatant insult to the Committee. It shows the scant respect the Naidus have for the constitutional committee. RSS circles are of the view that Naidus' friendship would deal a heavy blow to the BJP in Andhra Pradesh. The BJP and the RSS are also panicky that all the credit will go to Naidu if he succeeds in building the much touted world class capital by spending lakhs of crore rupees. The Centre is carefully observing the diversion of central funds to non-priority sectors by Chandrababu Naidu.

After becoming vice-president also, Venkaiah Naidu started holding meetings with the union ministers and discussed issues concerning AP state affairs, pending projects and release of funds. Prime Minister Modi evidently put a halt to such acts. Modi also stalled the attempt made by Chadrababu Naidu to ferry Singapore Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong who had come to attend the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, to Amaravati, thereby garnering media hype.

Besides, the Centre wanted Chandrababu to provide facts and figures on how the funds released so far were spent by his government. The Centre also made it clear that any further funds would be released only after he gave the details of the funds already received and spent by the state government.

This angered Chandrababu very much and he openly questioned the Centre's stance. Apart from this, the BJP is already facing public discontent because of the cash crunch created by demonetisation step and imposition of GST. Under these circumstance, Chandrababu grew panicky that continuance of TDP as ally in the NDA could endanger his party's prospects. So to put BJP in a fix, Chandrababu Naidu is now playing the 'special category status' (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh card which he had blatantly rejected in the past.

Further he advised the two TDP ministers in the union cabinet to quit their posts because the Centre did not make any allocations of funds or projects to the AP state in the recent union budget. In fact, the ministers must have approached the union finance minister Arun Jaitley and discussed with him about the allocation of funds and projects necessary for the state. They reportedly did not consult the finance minister. But they started raising hue and cry only after the budget was presented.

Now the state administration says that it would go public and tell the people that the state was not granted any funds and projects in the union budget. In the same breath, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) official spokesman GVL Narasimharao is threatening the TDP that he too would divulge how the funds earlier released to the state were diverted to other areas and misused in certain cases.

What is to be taken note of here is that the Centre and the state government did not divulge their lapses so far owing to the alliance principle. Both the parties are least bothered about the serious damage such stances could cause to the state. Now because of the recent change in political equations, both the parties are bent upon pointing out each other's lapses leaving the public to be mute spectators. They are concerned with their own political gains. Neither the BJP nor the TDP is evidently concerned with doing justice to the grossly unjustified state post bifurcation. Thus, both the parties are causing untold harm to the state because of their self-centered trends.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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