Kakani’s statue removal, a strategic mistake by TDP ?

For strange reasons, Telugu Desam Party supremo and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is committing strategic mistakes in his second stint this time. The party is paying heavy price for every mistake and one wonders why a strategist like Chandrababu Naidu is doing these mistakes.

The first mistake he had committed and was caught was the attempt to defeat the TRS candidate in the Telangana MLC elections. This had made him to shift to Amaravati overnight leaving the opportunity of being in the common capital for 10 years. His mistake had benefited the State as it could find a new capital in the first five years of bifurcation itself.

The second mistake that he had committed was making YSR Congress MLAs as Ministers in his cabinet. The leader who speaks about values, though he never followed, and blamed the TRS government for taking the TDP MLA into the Cabinet had committed the same mistake here. This had earned him and his party some negative impact among the people, who are watching every development.

The shift from the special category status to the special package was the greatest mistake that he had committed. He did not change his stand on the special category status alone, he had even criticised those who gave the slogan and had booked cases against them. Continuing to speak against the special category status for two years, he reversed his decision and began fighting for the special category status. Today, he believes that the special category status fetches him votes.

In the process of reversing himself to the special category status, Chandrababu Naidu had committed several mistakes which included his initial decision to back the no confidence motion sponsored by the YSR Congress and later to sponsor his own no confidence motion.

Now, he had committed yet another strategic mistake by removing the historical and sentimentally-associated statue of Kakani Venkata Rathnam from the Benz Circle in Vijayawada. A strong leader he was, Kakani is respected as the champion of Jai Andhra movement that wanted bifurcation from the Telangana in 1971-72. The statue was removed to facilitate construction of flyover and expansion of the Vijayawada-Machilipatnam national highway.

The government could have done this without disturbing the statue as a pillar is not expected at the site as that would block the flow of the traffic. The government could have made alternative arrangements for the flyover work without disturbing the statue or at least it could have made an announcement about the statue’s removal now and assurance to reinstall it once the flyover works are done. But the hasty decision is set to cost dearly for the TDP as it would hurt the sentiments of the people, particularly the dominant Kamma community in Krishna and Guntur districts that owns up the leader. It was for this the former MP from Guntur, Yalamanchili Sivaji, had condemned the removal of the statue.

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