The ruling Telugu Desam Party is hit below the belt by Opposition YSR Congress with its threat of making its MPs quit from Parliament on April 6 if the Special Category Status (SCS) is not granted to the State. The TDP leaders find themselves in a fix now with Opposition taking the lead in the fight for the State.
A core committee of the TDP which met under the chairmanship of Chandrababu Naidu had actively reviewed the impact of Jagan’s threat in the State politics. The party leaders believe that Special Category Status demand raised by Jagan Mohan Reddy is a potential issue to attract the youth and felt that the party should do something to counter it. Some of the leaders have suggested that the government should go on an intensive campaign to counter the SCS claim of the YSR Congress. The counter claim is that the TDP had secured special package that would surpass the SCS in getting Central funds and the Ministers were directed to speak about this in all their meetings with the people and media.
The second option is to withdraw its two Ministers from the Union Cabinet in the first stage and issue a threat of all its MPs quitting Parliament even before Jagan does it. Withdrawal of the two Ministers, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y S Chowdary, in the first phase, perhaps on the first day of the Parliament that would meet on March 5 after the recession, is seen as a potential threat to the BJP leadership and would send right signals to the people to win over the Opposition party’s resignation threats. The TDP wants to prove that it was ahead of other parties in getting the benefits for the State and even quit the Cabinet for the cause of the people and State.
Chandrababu Naidu is actively exploring this strategy in terms of the benefits that it would get for the State and also in terms of the anger that might attract Modi-Shah duo. Chandrababu Naidu is equally worried about the anger of the people and the anger of Modi. If he fails to get the benefits to the State, it is for sure that he would attract the anger of the people for being in power and not getting anything for the State. If he quits the Cabinet, he is worried about attracting the anger of Modi which might lead to further troubles for him that might have adverse impact on his political prospects in future.
The TDP chief is now more cautious than ever as he has an herculean task of making his son Nara Lokesh his successor in the next elections. He set the agenda of making Lokesh the CM of the State in the second half of his next term which would mean that he should win the next election in the State. He is not ready for any risk that causes trouble for him in executing this plan. In fact, it is for this reason, he is remaining silent and is not heard openly criticising the Union budget.
A pure strategist he is, Chandrababu Naidu is working hard for the past fortnight to ensure that there is no hurdle on the way to winning a second term for him in the State. While appearing to make his MPs fight for the interests of the State, he is working on to protect the interests of his son becoming the next Chief Minister of the State. In a way, he is now walking on a rope balancing the interests of the State and the future of his son.