Chandrababu’s Illusion Of Seniority

22 Mar, 2018 16:56 IST|Sakshi
Chandrababu’s Illusion Of Seniority

Y. Satyanarayana

Chandrababu Naidu is a classic example of a politician with no charisma of his own succeeding on the big stage through sheer opportunism. No wonder then, that he has a Narcissistic tendency to overrate his importance and role in national politics. Of late, Chandrababu has been harping excessively on his seniority and refers to himself as the 'senior-most' politician in the country.

Naidu needs to be reminded of several things.

First off, long before Chandrababu made his debut in politics, M Karunanidhi headed Tamil Nadu, as chief minister. Chandrababu might do well to remember that Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu almost five decades ago—back in 1969. On all counts then, he can be seen as one of the seniormost politicians in the country.

Sharad Pawar is another senior politician, who became an MLA 50 years ago and became CM of Maharashtra four decades ago. Incidentally, Chandrababu, claiming he is the 'seniormost' politician in the country, also reminds anyone who cares to listen that he has four decades of political experience. Pawar, apart from having been a Union minister for long years, was also chief minister of Maharashtra thrice.

Also Read: BJP And The Telugu States In 2019

Lal Kishan Advani was a Union minister in Morarji Desai's cabinet as early as 1977 in the Janata party regime. P.S. Badal of the Akali Dal was the Union agriculture minister in the same cabinet. Chandrababu back then was taking his baby steps in politics.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, founder of the Samajwadi party, chief minister of UP for three consecutive terms and Defence Minister in the United Front government, is another veteran politician on the national scene. Mulayam is miles ahead of Chandrababu when it comes to acceptability and popularity. Moreover, when it comes to credibility, Mulayam has very high ratings in popular perception. He has walked the talk with his strident anti-BJP rhetoric matching his political actions on the ground.

These are but a few examples to put the facts on Chandrababu Naidu's 'seniority' in some perspective. Is it megalomania that makes Naidu make such claims? Is it insecurity that drives him in his current phase? Or is it overdependence on a Goebbelsian propaganda machine which plays music sweet to his ears? Whatever be the answer to this question, Chandrababu Naidu must also recall the fact that he chose to sail with the BJP on two occasions, and at the end of each phase tried to portray himself as a secularist, in the political sense of the term. He also pulled the rug from under his father-in-law, NT Rama Rao's feet and after the ugly, infamous Viceroy Hotel incident, became chief minister. Therefore, regardless of his 'seniority' in public life, his ranking as a politician with credibility and an ally worth trusting, is at an all-time low right now. And for a 'senior' politician, nothing can be more damaging when elections are months away. Chandrababu will have to pull out all the rabbits from his hat of 'seniority' to face the people and explain to them why a special package was a good substitute for special category status in his opinion earlier; why SCS to AP was not a Sanjeevini or panacea earlier, but why it is in his eyes the state's lifeline now, something that the YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had been saying all along. These and other questions will need cogent explanations from him which he does not have.

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