Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi was voted to power, the expectations were high that he would change the political system of the country and bring an end to unethical political practices. But, everyone was in for a surprise as nothing changed. TDP was a BJP ally for four years and there was no stopping to the party's political atrocities and corruption. BJP's silence proved that democracy lay in the shambles.
The BJP's failure to bring out a bill on turncoat politicians will remain as a black mark on Modi forever. As a saving grace, the Modi government did not approve the demand for increase in the number of assembly seats in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, thereby stopping shifting of parties. On the other hand they have not initiated any action against the turncoat Lok Sabha MPs, which is a failure of not just central government but also Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. For example, Nandyala MP SPY Reddy, without even taking oath shifted from YSRCP to TDP, but no action was taken against him till date. This was followed by Araku MP Kothapalli Geetha, Kurnool MP Butta Renuka and Khammam MP Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy who also shifted their political affiliations. Though complaints were raised against them, no action was initiated.
Similarly, Malkajgiri TDP MP crossed over to TRS, but there has been no action. The opposition MLAs in AP and Telangana were poached by TDP and TRS. Though it was criticised no action was initiated against anybody. The case same with Lok Sabha also, and in truth, there is no difference between Speakers Kodela Siva Prasad Rao and Madhusudhanachary, and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
It did not end with inaction, for the latest all party meet Butta Renuka was invited to participate on behalf of YSRCP. To top it all, she took part in the Lok Sabha debate in the no trust vote as a YSRCP member of Lok Sabha. Or is it that there was a secret pact between TDP and BJP? If only YSRCP had encountered a similar situation, TDP would have made a big issue out of it. What surprises all is the silence of the TDP media over this issue! Perhaps they have knowledge of the secret pact between TDP and BJP.
TDP media made a mockery of YSRCP MPs resignation and called it politics of compromise, but what do they have to say about the illegal switching of political parties? During their four years of friendship, BJP had supported TDP’s poaching of opposition leaders. At least after the TDP snapped its alliance, one had expected that turncoat leaders to face the axe, but that slightest hope was killed with BJP's non-committal behaviour.
TDP has been on a propaganda mission that YSRCP has an alliance with BJP. If this was true, YSRCP would have got BJP to initiate action against the turncoat MPs and MLAs. AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu while criticising BJP and placing no-trust vote against NDA government, bowed and scraped before PM Modi and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Similarly, Modi and Gadkari also did not interfere with Chandrababu.
With an invitation to turncoat MP Butta Renuka to attend all party meet, and later speak on behalf of YSRCP, these turncoat leaders have been legitimised and accepted by the BJP in the most bizarre fashion. If only YSRCP MP Vijayasai Reddy had not raised the issue, Butta Renuka would have sat in the meeting. The explanation for this given by Parliamentary Affairs minister Anantha Kumar looks very silly. He said that disqualification petition against Butta Renuka was still pending. Is it not shameful to keep such petitions for this long? Besides, why was she allowed to represent YSRCP in the debate on Friday when it was already pointed out that she had switched loyalties.
It was surprising that a senior like Sharad Yadav was terminated from the post within three months for not joining the BJP, while Sumitra Mahajan did not act on the turncoat MPs of AP. This only proves that the TDP-BJP alliance continues. Is this what we expected from Prime Minister Modi? Definitely not. At least now, in the next six months, if he doesn't bring political changes, he would be branded as a person who encouraged unethical political practices.