Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had tabled his last budget for this season on February 1. The budget had no representation for Andhra Pradesh that angered every section. To cash in on the public anger, ruling TDP supremo and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had made his MPs, who are part of the ruling combine at the Centre to hold protests. He did not ask his MPs to quit the Cabinet. He did not ask his MPs to quit Parliament. He allowed them to be part of the government and still hold a token protest for the State. He just repeated what the Congress MPs from AP did at the time of bifurcation. No Congress MP had resigned from Cabinet and no MP had quit the Parliament. They all were part of the government and were holding a token protests, mostly in front of the media, except for the infamous ‘pepper spray’ act of Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal.
Then and now, TDP MPs continue to play the same drama. The TDP’s Chittoor MP N Sivaprasada has become a laughing stock with his attires that have lowered the image of the Telugu people. He did the same at the time of bifurcation and is doing the same now shamelessly, as the forms of his attires are taken as a mode of entertainment rather than protest.
Y S Chowdary, who is part of the Cabinet, is doing what Chiranjeevi or Kavuri or J D Seelam or Purandheswari did at the time of bifurcation. Sitting in the Cabinet, they play the drama of speaking against the government, just for the sake of the media attention.
But the big success this time was the support that the AP had received from leaders like L K Advani and Rahul Gandhi. While there are no takers for Advani’s word in the BJP itself, the word of Rahul would carry somewhat greater weight, if at all the BJP government is ready to help Andhra Pradesh.
The support from the parties like Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and the TRS is a welcome development. In fact this support was mobilised earlier by the Congress in the Parliament and even outside. These parties have also attended a meeting organised by the Congress in Guntur on special category status where Rahul Gandhi shared the dais with Akhilesh Yadav.
The TDP never backed the demand for the special category status or for the fulfilment of the promises made to the state either raised by the Congress or the Left parties. It had always compromised with the BJP and dancing to the Modi’s tunes for various reasons. Now, wasting four precious years, the TDP’s tears have no takers.
Things would not have been like this had the TDP realised the games of the BJP or was it sincere towards the issues concerning the State. It should have backed every agitation or meeting held in the state during the last four years in the name of special category status. But, it had always tried to suppress the movements and silence the voices.
Going by what the TDP had done in the last four years to get justice done to the State and the way it demonstrates the protest drama now, it is the TDP who is to be blamed for the woes of the people and the neglect by the BJP. There was not a single occasion where the TDP leadership tried to mount some pressure on BJP to get these things done rather than bowing before it every time the BJP leadership had come forward with some or the other alternative.