Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chiru's comic tragedy

The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference.

During the debate in the Rajya Sabha on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, the Union Minister Chiranjeevi launched an attack on his own high command. He said that they were not even consulted; their ideas were not even considered, much less implemented; they were not given even an iota of respect. And after that he continued to enjoy the perks of his office.
Two days back, Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced the setting up two PCCs for Telangana and Seemandhra. Chiranjeevi, for his sterling performance in the Rajya Sabha, was rewarded with the post of “Chairman of Campaign Committee” in Seemandhra! What will he campaign about? That despite being insulted, he continues to prostrate before power and the people of Seemandhra should respect that? That despite being sidelined and looked down upon, he continues to remain loyal to Sonia Gandhi and therefore, the people of Seemandhra (SA) should also place trust in the Congress?
Will he tell the people, “Hey look, Congress screwed you. I agree with you. But still give Congress a chance”? Because this is how ridiculous this appointment is. Every single Union Minister who opposed the Bill and stayed back in the Congress are members of the campaign committee – I am dying to see what their campaign strategy will be. What these appointments also reveal are the dangerous games that Sonia Gandhi played. If these Ministers and public representatives were serious about stopping bifurcation, they would not be prostrating before the party as they are doing now.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy announced the setting up of a new party. The announcement must have been one of the dampest squibs ever. Only a handful of MPs and MLAs tagged along with him for this party. After the bifurcation is done, many of them don’t see value in still fighting for a united State cause. Nevertheless, Kiran Kumar Reddy has filed a case in the Supreme Court questioning the validity of the decision. The SC has sent notices to the Government and right now, we are not sure when the case will be taken up. The public meeting held on March 12 where he launched the flag of the party, Kiran Kumar Reddy also harped on the case of the breaking of the Berlin Wall.
Chiranjeevi’s brother, Pawan Kalyan, who has a sizeable following in the youth, is all set to announce his political party, Jana Sena Party (JSP) tomorrow. It remains to be seen what exactly the plans of this party are, this close to elections. Quite obviously, it will be a Herculean task to identify and put up candidates in all constituencies of the State. It is also unclear as to how much dent he will make into the votes of other bigger parties. We have already seen how disastrous Chiranjeevi has been. It remains to be seen if his younger brother will also be a disaster or not. Prior to the setting up of the Praja Rajyam Party in 2008, Pawan Kalyan pompously announced the setting up of a “Common Man Protection Force”. After that he did nothing about it, and it faded into oblivion. Will this become another such failed experiment – we have to wait and watch.
However, the most stressed out lot in Andhra Pradesh are the Government employees. The Supreme Court is insisting on conducting elections to municipal bodies on March 30. The State Election Commission and all political parties are pleading for postponing these election in view of the general election. In fact, the State Election Commissioner has directly blamed the Congress Government for this utter chaos – he said that the Government simply did not care to conduct elections despite repeated requests. This is also exam season and so, the Government has to ensure the safe conduct. And then there is the preparation for the general election. And above all – the bifurcation process has to completed by the June 1. Never before have so many critical and important events been scheduled at the same time. The utter inefficiency of the Congress Government is evident clearly now. Come June, it will be a good riddance to the people of the State that the Congress will no longer be in power.


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