AP Non-Gazetted Officers’ Association president P Ashok Babu took voluntary retirement on Thursday. Though he has a couple of months on hand to retire, he took the VRS to be eligible for the MLC elections scheduled for February. He is set to join the ruling Telugu Desam Party.
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had invited Ashok Babu to join active politics on several occasions and had offered better deal. Ashok Babu became popular in the State during the Samaikyandhra movement at the time of bifurcation. He was the champion of the movement opposing the bifurcation even if it became clear to everyone that bifurcation cannot be stopped. He is said to be the reason for the injustice done to the state in bifurcation as he did not give a chance to the people to ask what they want if bifurcation is inevitable. There was no chance for the people of Seemandhra to debate on the AP Reorganisation Bill 2013, which later became the Act 2014.
His popularity continued even after bifurcation and he became close to the ruling Telugu Desam Party. He had been part of Chandrababu Naidu’s political programmes like Nava Nirmana Deeksha held every year on June 2, aimed at criticising the Congress for unjust bifurcation. This was to avoid State Formation Day celebrations and he spent four years in doing this political fight against the Congress and to please the Bharatiya Janata Party. Ashok Babu remained part of this political exercise.
Later, when Chandrababu Naidu pulled out of the BJP-led NDA and started Dharma Porata Deeksha against the BJP, Ashok Babu again became part of this political battle. He aligned with Chandrababu Naidu in this political fight, though conducted with the state money.
Now, he had quit the job taking VRS and will be a full-time TDP leader shortly. This was an expected development ahead of the elections, going by the indications given by the Chief Minister time and again. Soon, he will be on the TDP ranks to help the party and Chandrababu Naidu win the election once again. But, the big question is will he be of any help to the TDP or will the TDP of any use for Ashok Babu!?