The union budget 2021-22 primarily focussed on the poll-bound states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, and Assam depriving other states including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. But the regional parties in the two Telugu states reacted in an ambivalent manner as political convenience prevailed over the interest of the respective states.
Vijayasai Reddy who praised last year’s budget despite offering nothing special to Andhra Pradesh has now sharply criticised the budget for not doing enough for the state. The YSR Congress has been avidly and unconditionally supporting Modi led government’s policies. The YSR Congress which moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi 1.0 regime on the denial of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, has been lukewarm to its response to NDA policies after coming to power. Yet, the party chose to be critical of the budget that betrayed the interest of Andhra Pradesh. This does not constitute a change of stand towards the Modi-led central government. Perhaps, it is a response to the saffron brigade’s recent assertion of Hindutva politics in the state.
Chandrababu Naidu who waged a war on Modi 1.0 regime has been extra cautious not to offend BJP central leadership since its debacle in 2019. The party has also given up its crusade for special status. Thus, the TDP instead of questioning the Modi government for its raw deal to Andhra Pradesh chose to find fault with YS Jagan for unable to get the maximum benefit from the center.
Pawan Kalyan, who was quite vocal on special status during Modi’s first innings, obviously remained silent even as the injustice meted out to the state. This is the result of his saffron embrace.
The TRS which declared to be battle-ready to take on Modi during GHMC campaign trail chose to be silent on the budget. Even as the union budget refuses to grant anything the KCR government asked, TRS and its leadership remain conspicuously silent. This is yet an instance of KCR’s U turn. He has displayed similar pusillanimity onfarm laws after meeting Modi and Amith Shah post GHMC polls.
Thus, the regional parties are putting parochial politics above the interest of their states.
-By Prof K Nageshwar