Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had finally broken his silence. He took more than a month to meet the media after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented his budget on February 1, which had nothing for the Andhra Pradesh. Though his party MPs were holding protests in Parliament and his leaders were holding press conferences to hit at the BJP for neglecting the State and giving an impression that the TDP would break the alliance, Chandrababu Naidu avoided meeting the media . He was expected to speak openly on the budget but he opted to remain silent and gave enough leakages to the media about his mind. He spoke to the officials. He spoke to his party men and he had attended two public meetings in Guntur district. But, never interacted with the media to tell people what he was feeling about the Union budget.
Having returned from the three-day CII summit in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday and after day-long celebrations of his 40 years of public life, Chandrababu Naidu met the media for the first time in the evening where he spoke about the injustice done to the State by the Central government. He also bats for the special category status now, after giving series of media leaks on toeing this line. But, he was not fully committed for it as he sees no incentives in it for the industrial sector. However, he wants the special category status only for two reasons – as it was promised and as it is being implemented in other states. Only for these two reasons he wants the special category status and not for any benefits that would come with it. He is more interested in the package that brings him more money for the State.
Politically, he took the entire opposition to the target. He did not leave the ally – BJP – too. He blamed the BJP leaders for speaking against the special category status as there is a huge flow of investments to the State during the last three partnership summits. He claimed that the investment flow was because of his efforts and not because of any other reason. He was able to sell the State and the opportunities available. He claimed that there was no presence of the BJP and Congress in the State. The two parties are non-existent and have no stakes. The lone opposition YSR Congress is, according to him, unwanted for the people. He said that the YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy had no clarity on any issues except the Chair of the Chief Minister.
The media in the State, had painted his statements blue and green and thus made an attempt to give him the leadership for the special category status demands of the people. The movement which has been spreading across with the support of the Opposition parties, would now have to go into the hands of Chandrababu Naidu. That is what he wishes and for that is what the media aims at.
After being silent for a month, Chandrababu Naidu now wants to be the champion of the popular demand for the special category status. But the big question is will he be able to grab the movement as he wishes?