Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Curious Case of Chandrababu Naidu

From “vision to television” is the joke going around about Chandrababu Naidu these days! Well, we have to give it to the person who came up with this slogan, for in 3 words he/she summarized the entire 30 years of Naidu’s political career.

2008-2009 was just a year of unlimited promises that will put any socialist regime to shame too!! Practically making every section of the population dependent on the government for assistance has been his USP and there has been no stopping since. Agriculture gets everything under the sun, small scale business get everything they want and more, students get unexpected favours, women will now be exalted to a new level, elders can live a better and happier life, government employees will no longer be subjected to surprise checks, you name it, you have it ! Is he so desperate to come back to power? Yes, of course! Are people desperate to see him back in power? That is still the million dollar question!

The recently released draft manifesto and agricultural document led me to question again and again – Is this the same man who wanted people to join the government in developing their villages through Janmabhoomi? Is this the same man, who said “neeru-meeru” and invested a lot in rain water harvesting, thus ensuring a better power supply in state during drought seasons? Is the same man who said “Dare to dream, care to achieve?” Is this the same politician who presented to us Vision 2020? Is this the same man who wanted people to build self sufficiency? Is this the same man who encouraged DWCRA, making it the only successful model in the entire country? Is this the same man who gave the term administration a whole new meaning? Is this the same man who introduced Rythu Bazaars thereby removing middlemen from the scene? Is this is the same man who ushered in IT revolution in the state? Is this the same man who said “Prajala vaddaku palana (Government to the people)?

Whilst in power, he was the darling of the media. His first few years were phenomenal in themselves, with the IT revolution, Janmabhoomi, and other such innovative programs driving the government. Almost hailed as the Czar of efficient administration, his victory in 1999 reinforced the point that he is leading the state in the right direction. The astute politician that he is, he was instrumental in the making of three Prime Ministers and one President. It was all like a fairy tale for Naidu, until the axe finally fell.

In 2004, I don’t think people hated him to a huge extent. The facts say otherwise. Congress won 185 seats with 1 crore and 37 lakh votes in its kitty. TDP won 45 seats with 1 crore 34 lakh seats in its kitty!! Just 3 lakh votes separated the two parties. This goes on to prove that people did not out rightly hate him or reject him. The dynamics of different regions plunged the party to defeat.

Also, contrary to what his opponents blame him, he did not backstab NTR! What happened at that time was historical necessity. Lakshmi Parvati was clearly acting as the de facto Chief Minister, and NTR just refused to budge. The coup did not happen all of a sudden, and a lot of MLA’s gave their full fledged support to Chandrababu Naidu at that time. And again, the victory of 1999 gave him the much needed legitimacy from the people.

The thing is that he has a lot of matter in him. He is articulate, and that quality stems from the fact that he is meticulous in everything he does. His role as the deputy leader of opposition during 1989-1994 catapulted him to fame and increased NTR’s dependence on his son-in-law. His stupidity in contesting against TDP in 1983 not withstanding, he played a very key role in the party during its first term in power too. The Naidu we see today is not the same who entered politics with a vision in 1978.

Either way, he is going to be doomed, or should I say Nai“doom”ed. If he wins, then there is not way he can sustain all his promises over the next 5 years. He will have to filter out many beneficiaries and many such things to keep the schemes intact. He will find it extremely hard to sustain them, and therefore he is Nai”doom”ed in 2014. If he loses, well, needless to say, he is Nai”doom”ed in 2009 itself!

With power comes responsibility. Maybe with loss of power comes irresponsibility. What else explains the Curious Case of Chandrababu Naidu?

PS: Small Trivia - In the movie, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", Brad Pitt is born as an old man and his story is traced back till his birth. I made an attempt to do something similar here, the main part of the blog starts in 2009 and ends at 1978 :)


chavakiran said...


shveta said...

very very enlightening article.. Only if people would have retained their trust in Naidu and supported him totally.. Things would have been a lot different and better in the state. We would be the witnesses of many more "revolutions".What happened was a twist of fate and I agree that coming up with all these "election" schemes is not going to help TDP!

Anonymous said...

A very gud analysis over the ups and downs in political career of Naidu...
I agree that in the present elections both TDP and PRP are making promises which can be fulfilled only if the party leaders invest there money which is stored in their swiss bank accounts ;) which is unimaginable....

Shravya said...

you are one veteran aren't you?!!!

Prabhod said...

Really nice blog man

SysErr said...

Good one. And since I endorsed three in a row, I'm all set to rip you apart the next time. Sorry mate, cant help it. Thats that way the (critic's) cookie crumbles :-)

Anantha Mohan said...

Good to see the analysis on Chandrababu Naidu, who is popular across states and made the presence of Andhrapradesh in great manner during his rule. True CEO of Andhra Pradesh.
Now I am completely hating/feeling bad about the way he is promising things, looks the the current Govt made politicians belive that people are beggers and they want everything free.
Looks like TDP is believing that they lost power just becuse of free power from Congress.
There are so many factors that made them down,
TRS, Naxals, Section of Govt. Employeer...big list. Now it will take decades for AP to come back after this 5 year rule from YSR, just not the corruption but entire system(Political/Adminstrative/Economic)is broken.

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