The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference.
Ever since the Vote-for-Note scandal broke out, it has been a free for all charade in both the Telugu states. The background for the scandal has been discussed earlier here.
Clearly caught on the backfoot, Chandrababu Naidu and the TDP have totally gone on an aggressive tangent, trying their best to divert attention. First, Chandrababu Naidu made this an Andhra Pradesh versus Telangana battle. He questioned as to how the Telangana government can dare to tap the phones of the representative of 5 crore people? This set off counter questions – is Chandrababu Naidu confirming that the voice on the leaked tape was his or not!
TDP members (including MLAs and Ministers) went on an overdrive and filed multiple cases against KCR in Andhra Pradesh. All cases basically accuse him of trying to tap phones. After seeing that this is not having much impact, the TDP has brought Section-8 of the AP re-organisation act into the picture.
Section 8 deals with “Responsibility of Governor to protect residents of common capital of Hyderabad“. It says that the Governor’s responsibility “shall extend to matters such as law and order” amongst others, and also states that the Governor shall “exercise individual judgment” after “consultation with the TS government“.
This section was necessitated because many folks expressed apprehensions on their security in Hyderabad. The TRS government from day 1 has said that there is no need for anyone to fear for security and has rejected the Section 8. TDP has again brought the issue to the fore.
TDP’s argument is that TRS has used the police machinery to tap the phones of 120 of their functionaries, and is therefore creating a law and order problem in the state. Chandrababu Naidu wants the Governor to take over the police of the city, in accordance with the section in the Reorganization act. And to show further aggression, Chandrababu Naidu now has AP police also guarding his residence (all along, it was the TS police giving him security, and even they continue to be here). Some loud mouth Ministers from the AP government went on to announce that they will not hesitate to even setup AP police stations in Hyderabad.
On the June 16, there were hectic parleys in both the camps. A few TV channels started talking about resignation by Chandrababu Naidu because the ACB is all set to file a case against him. Then there was speculation that TDP government will setup an SIT or have a CID inquiry into the various cases filed against KCR. In a free-for-all rumour mongering – everything from impending arrests of “more people” to “both governments collapsing” was thrown around. The Opposition in AP, the YSRCP is also desperately trying to cash in on this scandal and is using its mouthpiece to the fullest to spread all possible rumours against the TDP.
Just when we thought that both the states have begun their march towards progress in earnest, all hell broke lose again! Naidu’s tangential approach coupled with aggression not seen before has irked KCR. He has also resorted to using ugly language, further flaring up tempers. This issue is because the TDP MLA, Mr. Revanth Reddy was caught bribing – that the TRS was able to poach (or gather support) of nearly 20 MLAs is not the issue because there is no “proof” available of any bribing! It is most unfortunate that the TDP chose to make this a battle between two states when caught on the backfoot. The end to this ugly game is no where in sight.