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News Analysis: Politics seem to have come full circle for Chandrababu Naidu

News Analysis: Politics seem to have come full circle for Chandrababu Naidu

By Nirendra Dev

New Delhi, Jun 20 (UNI) The hands of clock seems to have taken a full 360 degrees turn around and the much acclaimed 'CEO' of Andhra Pradesh - N Chandrababu Naidu - has come at the receiving end.

Away in London on holidays, after his recent electoral rout both in the state assembly polls and also the parliamentary elections, Mr Naidu on Thursday got a major jolt as four of his MPs in the Rajya Sabha including onetime trusted aide YS Chowdary quit his outfit and joined the BJP.

Those who are aware of Andhra Pradesh politics see the development as 'coming of age' of what had happened way back in 1995 when Chandrababu Naidu himself staged a 'coup' against his father-in-law NT Rama Rao and took control over the TDP.

However, TDP is still under his control at the organisational and even 'rebel camp' says Mr Naidu is still the boss of his party - that was once founded by NT Rama Rao.

Politically Mr Naidu had suffered other setbacks for a decade between 2004 and 2014 when he was defeated by Congress in two consecutive polls, but there was absolutely no doubt about his control over TDP - a party floated by NT Rama Rao to highlight Telugu pride.

But on June 20 (Thursday), four of his MPs decided to quit the party and wasted no time in joining the BJP heaping praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and even calling the Modi government as 'the best platform' to serve the interest of the state.

For his part, Chandrababu Naidu is now on defensive and reportedly called up some senior leaders to check the crisis from getting further aggravated.

Sources said the former Chief Minister spoke to some of his confidants from abroad and enquired about the rebellion and also counseled them not to panic as "such challenges" were not new to TDP.

Years back when he rebelled, Mr Naidu had said his revolt against NTR was justified as his father-in-law who had come under "evil - dusth shakti' influence - a reference to NTR's second wife, Lakshmi Parvati.

Later as a Chief Minister he projected himself as the 'CEO' of the state and tuned Hyderabad into an IT hub - the 'cyberabad'.

Mr Naidu has been critical of 2002 anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat and also quit NDA after he lost the polls in 2004.

However, in the run up to the 2014 parliamentary polls after Mr Modi was projected as 'PM-nominee' he came back to the NDA fold.

TDP was rewarded with two ministerial berths - and one of them who was made MoS Science and Technology was YS Chowdary, now a 'BJP turncoat'.

But in March 2018, Mr Naidu quit the NDA and became a vocal voice for third front politics and slammed Prime Minister and his government.

In 1996, it is said - Chandrababu Naidu 'declined' to take Prime Ministership even after legendary Jyoti Basu had offered the same on the ground that it would be 'a temporary job only'.

In Mumbai, he had told this correspondent some years back - "If I know my strength, I also know my weaknesses".

This was to drive home the point that declining the offer to be Prime Minister of United Front was not a mistake.

But politics is truly about so many ups and downs and Chandrababu knows it the best. He would now need to pull up his sleeves yet again and get ready for a bigger battle - fighting BJP in the centre and Y Jagan Mohan Reddy in his home state.

UNI DEVN SHK2122

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