Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is now vociferous on special category status demand. He began to beat the drum only for the last two days, after giving series of leaks to the media since February 1, when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Union Budget.
For the first time in his political career, it was only these 20 days that Chandrababu Naidu avoided direct interaction with the media. Caught between the popular demand for SCS on one side and the threat of Modi’s leadership on the other, Chandrababu Naidu is now going soft but vocal on the concerns of the State.
He had realised that the Opposition YSR Congress is ahead of him in winning the peoples’ faith by beating the drum for the SCS. Jagan Mohan Reddy had declared that his party MPs would quit if the SCS is not granted to the State by the end of the budget session. He had also announced that his party MPs would move no confidence motion against the government and dared TDP to back him. On these two counts, Jagan Mohan Reddy is seen ahead of TDP in winning the confidence of the people.
While trying to play low the resignation and no confidence motion threats of Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Chief Minister is now beating the drum for the SCS, very cautiously to avoid wrath of the Modi dispensation. The TDP leaders are unhappy with the way Naidu is handling the issue. They want their leader to go aggressive on BJP hitting hard for the injustice done to the State in the last four years. Particularly after Modi had announced the Rs 20,000 crore defence corridor package to Bundelkhand, ignoring AP, the TDP leaders want their leader to take on the BJP and paint the party as villain against the development of the State. But he is not ready to go hard against the leadership and is not doing so, which keeps the TDP ranks unhappy with him.
The BJP leaders too are unhappy the way Naidu is hanging on to the NDA. They are expecting him to walk out of the NDA on his own like the Shiv Sena in Maharastra, Akali Dal in Punjab and Biju Janata Dal in Odisha. Though they have less stakes in electoral politics in the State, the BJP leaders are not ready to go with him for the next elections in the State as they fear of losing heavily due to anti-incumbency. But, Naidu is not prepared to quit the NDA on his own. The BJP leaders say that Naidu is scared of the witch-hunting politics of Modi-Shah and is worried about the Note for Vote case pending against him in the High Court. He is also worried about the intelligence reports that the Central Home Ministry has about the land dealings of Amaravati. He is said to be worried about the Modi-Shah taking revenge on him using these two issues. The BJP leaders say that Naidu is continuing with the NDA, while speaking for SCS, only because of his fear of landing in the jail.
Naidu is not prepared to take any risk at this point of time as he is more concerned about the future of his son. He is planning to make his son succeed him after the next elections. He wants to install his son as Chief Minister in a smooth way for which he is remaining silent even if denied audience with the Prime Minister for more than 16 months. A man who called the shots in the national politics is now reduced to the four walls and that is because of the future of his son and also of his fear of landing in legal troubles. That is what makes Chandrababu Naidu to be silent and slow.