Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has betrayed Andhra Pradesh; he has cheated the people of Andhra Pradesh. This is the line of criticism which Chandrababu Naidu took to flay the Centre in recent months. TDP leaders also keep bragging that Chandrababu Naidu is the only leader in the country who can take on Modi.That is one side of the coin....
No one can beat Chandrababu at creating a big sensation, setting propaganda mills in motion, later turning a flop situation to one's own advantage.For about a week expectations have been built around Chandrababu's presentation of AP's case in the Niti Aayog meeting. The pro-Telugu Desam media outlets set the wheels of a major campaign in motion saying that Chandrababu would stage a sensation at the summit in representing the state. Of course, everyone doubted whether Chandrababu was indeed capable of such a brave move as to expose the Centre.
Well, then we know what actually happened at the Niti Aayog summit. Chandrababu Naidu repeated his usual story, but the media tried to project it differently. The TV scrolls of some channels screamed that Chandrababu, unmindful of Home Minister, Rajnath Singh's intervention, persisted in having his say! If the Union Home Minister really wanted Chandrababu to stop, could he have continued? Moreover, it is not possible to speak at meetings such as the one convened by Niti Aayog endlessly, as one would at a political rally in the state.
What did Chandrababu Naidu say then? He claimed the state had been wronged and that it got a raw deal. So far so good. What does he say in rallies and meetings in AP? Chandrababu claims that Modi had behaved treacherously and cheated AP. Why couldn't he muster the courage to repeat the same lines in Delhi at the summit? Why did he remain silent on the funds released and the amounts due for the capital, Amaravati and Polavaram? Would any Central government release 1 lakh cr yielding to the demand of a state government? If that had indeed been the demand of the state government, why was it not articulated at the Niti Aayog meeting?
This clearly shows that Chandrababu has one line of propaganda in Andhra Pradesh and another when he encounters PM Modi in person. Media outlets, which toe his line, may portray him as a hero, but the veracity of their versions becomes questionable. Ambati Rambabu, quite correctly wondered why Chandrababu, who indulged in false propaganda saying the YSRCP and Jana Sena did not criticise Modi, was being soft on the PM when it came to the TDP!
If one were to look at the photograph of Chandrababu Naidu and PM Modi standing together, one tends to get the feeling that both of them are taking the people of AP for a ride. The difference is that Modi is not fixated with AP. But Chandrababu's face behind the mask got exposed in the obseqious manner in which we see him falling over to please the prime minister. Ramakrishna of the CPI said that if Chandrababu was this elated when PM Modi offered his left hand for a handshake, he would have probably jumped with joy had the PM given him a proper handshake with his right hand.
Senior journalists, Rajdeep Sardesai and Shekhar Gupta also commented on the Modi-Babu meeting saying that this is an instance of the state of politics in the country.
No matter what select media outlets favouring Chandrababu Naidu might say about his performance at the Niti Aayog, as they did in the build-up to it, the photographs tell a different story. They reveal the truth behind Chandrababu's claims, as also those of the media backing him. This is AP's misfortune because the chief ministers of other states do not indulge in such games. Chandrababu Naidu pretends to work hard and tries to project a certain image, the image of a valiant fighter! One wonders for how long the state has to endure such politics of deception!