Should political parties trust Chandrababu Naidu?

While the country anxiously awaits the outcome of assembly elections 2018, the political parties already focused on the big battle ahead next year, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Most of the opposition parties, including the Congress, seem to have now realized that “BJP versus the rest” model is their best chance to dislodge the Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.

Eyeing the political vacuum at the leadership level within the opposition ranks, several regional leaders have taken the lead to unite all parties on one platform.

With the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi still struggling to make a mark across the country, the regional parties sense an opportunity to play a major role in the formation of the next government at the Centre.

Even the Congress leaders are now openly talking about a broad state-based alliance to defeat the NDA government in 2019.

This obviously has galvanized the regional leaders, many of whom have come forward to play the leadership role.

While West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, NCP chief Sharad Pawar are among the prominent voices leading this effort, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, known for aaya ram, gaya ram politics, has also jumped into the fray to try his luck.

Chandrababu Naidu recently traveled to several cities to meet the opposition leaders in his bid to try and convince them to make a united front against the BJP.

His meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi was seen as significant given the bitter rivalry between the two parties.

However, the immediate question that comes to the mind as far as the TDP chief’s efforts are concerned is that “Can Chandrababu Naidu be trusted?”

A person, who for the last four years enjoyed all the perks of power by being with the BJP-led NDA government, is now suddenly leading the efforts to topple its old companion out of power.

Why this sudden change of heart? Why this sudden change of stand? Why this sudden realisation of the alleged damage that the BJP-led NDA government is causing to the important institutions? There are many questions like these that beg for answers.

Obviously, the dramatic shift in Chandrababu Naidu’s position has been due to his political compulsions back home in Andhra Pradesh. Having ruined the golden opportunity to build the state, he is now looking for escape routes to shift the blame for his non-performance. So he parted ways with the BJP to save his political stock in Andhra Pradesh.

But should a leader, who has changed colors so many times in the past, be trusted by the opposition parties?

Chandrababu Naidu is a backstabber who is adept at changing sides for his political survival. For him, principles in politics are of little concern.

In 2012, Chandrababu Naidu announced that it was a “mistake” on part of his party to extend support to the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre, and it will not be repeated in the future.

The TDP had extended support to the BJP-led NDA at the Centre from 1998 to 2004.

According to media reports, he went on to say that “TDP has committed only one mistake in politics – that is extending support to the NDA Government led by BJP.”

But this grand statement was conveniently forgotten in less than two years and the U-turn leader was back in the arms of the BJP.

In 2014, there was a new statement to justify his U-turn:  “What is important is we have to defeat the Congress at the national level. This is a historic tie-up and I am confident the NDA will win 300 seats. I appeal to all TDP and BJP leaders not to oppose this and instead unite to win in this election.”

This was despite the fact that the TDP leader was among the most vocal critics of the riots in Gujarat and had actively spoken against the then chief minister Narendra Modi.

And now, he has once again returned to the Congress fold.  He has forgotten the over three-decade-old rivalry between the two parties, he has forgotten the many charges of corruption he leveled against the top Congress leaders. Above all, he has forgotten that the very base of TDP was to fight against Congress party. N.T. Rama Rao formed TDP on 29th March 1982  as an alternative to Congress hegemony. By joining hands with Congress party, NCBN has not only betrayed NTR but also the caders of TDP.

Chandrababu is justifying the latest change by calling it a “democratic compulsion”. This is a desperate bid to hide his political opportunism.

What is the guarantee that the TDP chief will not change sides once again? After the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he may once again decide to make a U-turn if he is offered a better deal.

After all, he has done it several times before and there is no reason why he may not do it again.

The opposition parties should not allow Chandrababu Naidu to hijack their unity efforts. While all of them have fought hard against the BJP misrule in the last four years, the TDP has conveniently sided with the NDA for the last four years.

As a politician, Chandrababu Naidu is an opportunist and knows that he cannot win any election alone. The opposition parties should ensure that he does not take advantage of the vacuum at the top and derail the unity efforts. Chandrababu is Selfish, Self-centred, self-serving, self-promoting. He can never be a good leader. He can never allow State to Develop and people of AP live in peace and prosper.

TDP government with Chandrababu as CM will go down in the history as the most corrupt government.

The YSR Congress has vowed to free Andhra Pradesh from Chandrababu Naidu’s misrule and we have just one word of caution to all other opposition parties … Do not trust this “foe-turned-friend” … because he can very easily once again become “friend-turned-foe.”

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