“NTR is equivalent to an icon for me, and CBN is someone I very deeply admire and like” – this is something I wrote in the year 2012. But of course the admiration was much older than 2012. Chandrababu Naidu was one of my childhood heroes. It was devastating to watch him lose the 2004 elections. I have had many debates on twitter with many folks who had tried to devalue the role Chandrababu Naidu has played in the growth of AP.
In my 2012 blog, I had identified 3 watershed moments in TDP’s history – the 1984 Lok Sabha elections; the 1995 coup when CBN took over NTR; the tectonic policy shift in 2008-09. The 4th watershed moment was today, November 1st, 2018, when Chandrababu Naidu joined hands with the Congress party. The very birth of TDP was against the Congress party. Every single moment of TDP’s 36 year old existence has been spent fighting the ideology of the Congress party, tooth and nail. The TDP cadre was built on an anti-Congress platform. TDP cadre have given up their life fighting this Congress party. For many, the iconic image of NTR leading a procession of a slain legislator to the Raj Bhavan remains etched in memory. Chandrababu Naidu himself got emotional many times, speaking about how his cadre are being killed by this Congress party. The Congress party has also accused the TDP of killing their cadre too!
This Congress party has no vision for the country. No vision for the state. No vision even for even a gram panchayat. This Congress party epitomizes corruption. Epitomizes nepotism. Epitomizes laziness. Epitomizes arrogance. Epitomizes ignorance. A part of all this opinion was formed because I saw my childhood hero in action, trying to show us a vision. Trying to lead us through extreme hard work. Trying to be amidst people, shedding arrogance.
And it is with this very Congress party that my childhood hero has today joined hands. TDP folks have tried to invent a new theory – the TDP’s fight has always been with a high-handed Delhi party and today it is the BJP that is being high-handed. I wonder how they want us to forget all those acrimonious assembly debates between CBN and YSR. I wonder how they want us to forget all those acrimonious exchanges of TDP and Congress MLAs over the years. I wonder how they want us to forget the fat booklets TDP has printed telling us how the corrupt Congress party has looted the entire state of Andhra Pradesh.
For folks outside of the telugu states, this might look like another day in politics. This might look like yet another political party doing what they do best – change their stance. However, please allow me to clarify that this is not a mere change in stance. This is a blow to the very foundation of TDP. This is a blow to the very strength of the TDP. For the entire 36 years of TDP’s existence, the only thing consistent about them has been the anti-Congress stand. Am sure there are a lot of folks who are angry and shocked with Chandrababu Naidu joining hands with Rahul Gandhi.
Let’s for a moment keep all this emotion aside, and look at this electorally. The Congress is a spent force in Andhra Pradesh. They have performed disastrously even in local body elections. The TDP has no say on any political formation outside of the telugu states – they don’t bring any electoral advantage outside of just one state.
Rahul Gandhi and Chandrababu Naidu have claimed that they have joined hands to “save democracy”. The continuous rants of CBN in recent times against the BJP have reached nauseating levels. A series of articles on this issue have been published in MyInd Makers too. Chandrababu Naidu needed a big villain to make him look like a hero. He chose Modi to be that villain. However, in making that choice, he chose to ally with a poison called Congress. Looking at what TDP was going through in 2012, I had then wondered if TDP was being Nai”doom”ed. Today, for me, it has become devastatingly Nai”doom”ed.