Chandrababu Ahead In The Race With U-turns

Chandrababu Ahead In The Race With U-turns

There have been a slew of tactics by the all political parties opposing the Telugu Desam Party to call its Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu's political strategies as U-turns. While it started with the BJP and YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the Left parties in AP and now, even the Prime Minister has criticised AP Chief Minister for his quick change in strategies, calling them U-turns.

However, a careful analysis of Chandrababu's altering political strategies is indicative of how it worked to his advantage in the run upto the Lok Sabha elections. While his strategy of ending TDP's 40-year rivalry with the Indian National Congress at the National level was seeing as a major U-turn by Chandrababu, it was his long-term strategy to unite all anti-BJP allies under one roof. The TDP's alliance with Congress nationally has brought several anti-BJP parties such as the National Conference, NCP, DMK, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, Bengal's Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Akali Dal, RLD and several others to fight against Narendra Modi government.

While the TDP's alliance with Congress and the Left failed in Telangana as a result of which the Prajakutami lost to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Chandrababu was criticised and in fact, abused for his political choices. This also became ammunition for TRS Chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao to show Chandrababu as the "villain" in Telangana which eventually brought him close to YSR Congress party, which is the TDP's arch-rival in Andhra Pradesh. However, the TDP Chief, in the run upto the elections, changed his strategy in the state against the BJP and began focussing on the Special Status issue.

While Jana Sena Founder Pawan Kalyan and YSRCP President Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy had initially kept the pitch for Special Status high in the state until the end of 2017, their demands for Special Status soon faded as soon as the TDP cut-off its ties with the BJP and walked out of the NDA government. However, this lack of interest of Jana Sena and YSRCP in Special Status for Andhra Pradesh became a huge advantage for the TDP, which began focussing on the issue and criticising the BJP government at the Centre. Accordingly, the TDP also ensured to bring the issue of assurances made in the AP Reorganisation Act into focus towards the end of 2018, at a time when the anti-BJP front started becoming stronger.

Using the election time as the right time to gain focus on Andhra Pradesh's demand for Special Status, Chandrababu rightly grabbed the opportunity which put Jagan and Pawan in a fix, making the issue a subject of national importance. While Jagan had gained considerable political mileage in the state through his Padayatra, it began dwindling after the TDP took the chance to highlight the demand for Special Status and portray it as the demand of 5 crore people of AP, bringing people's sentiments into picture.

With the one-day fast in New Delhi, Chandrababu took the demand for Special Status to Delhi, right to the national capital where his ensured to get extensive support from all the anti-BJP parties, sending a warning shot to the BJP that regional parties do not fear the BJP's misuse of democratic institutions. His fast in Delhi is also a missed opportunity of the YSR Congress and Jana Sena which repeatedly claimed that they will take the Special Status fight to Delhi. However, just before elections, Chandrababu's tactic in taking the fight to Delhi and portraying it as NDA government's discrimination against Andhra Pradesh as well as getting support from pan-India political parties has definitely turned pout to be an advantage for the TDP in the state.

While his political opponents are constantly criticising Chandrababu for his U-turns, his political strategies and U-turns have actually worked in bringing TDP lot of positive image among people of AP and politically put the party in an advantageous position, compared to its rivals in the state.

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