What prompted 63-year-old Chandrababu Naidu to go for marathon padayatra for 2,800 and odd kilometers in 208 days nearly for seven months? Will it serve any purpose? What he aimed and what he achieved is a debate now in the political circles of the State.
The outcome of padayatra what Chandrababu himself admitted that he is now a changed man! “Vastunna mee kosam” was aimed at understanding the problems of the workers in the unorganized sector. He announced many sops to the people during the yatra.
Naidu, a shrewd politician to the core was the chief minister for nine years and spent more than nine years as the opposition leader. He was out of power for two terms and if he could not capture power now (2014 elections), he will be out of the game forever, feel the political experts. His indecisiveness over Telangana issue made Naidu to stand in the crossroads. All most all the parties in the state are clear in their decision over T issue. Bold decisions always pay desired dividends as it is proved beyond doubt in the past. BJP and CPI came forward to support Telangana cause and are going on their way.
Telangana a losing ground?
Naidu has a strong dent in Telangana region as Telangana TDP leaders seemed unhappy over the party’s unclear stand. Senior leaders like Kadiyam Srihari wanted Naidu to move a step forward to give an impression to the people that his party was for Telangana state. What Naidu did so far for T cause was nothing. Just forwarding a letter supporting Telangana is not at all enough to win the people’s hearts, observe some TDP senior leaders.
Naidu has to work with more responsible now than in the past as he has to protect the leaders without jumping the wall and achieve sizeable majority in the state. Political scenario is fast changing as TRS and YSRCP are becoming challenging forces. Growing migrations to these parties is any indication. A peculiar situation is arising in the State where this time Naidu has to fight it out alone without any poll alliance. Naidu is critical of victory not only in Telangana but also in Rayalaseema. Recent by-elections proved that he cannot win meager 5-6 seats out of 52 in Rayalaseema with the strong influence of YSRCP.
Similar situation prevailed too in Coastal Andhra. If you pose a question to any one in coastal Andhra on which party you prefer to vote next, the answer is YSRCP. Out of 123, TDP cannot expect majority seats even if it went to polls now. It appears Naidu caught between the devil and the deep sea. If it went minus in Telangana and Coastal Andhra, TDP’s future is bleak, say the analysts.
Why Harikrishna ignores Naidu?
Surprisingly, Naidu’s strategy went wrong with regard to keeping Balakrishna beside him during the padayatra valedictory. Balakrishna is not a value addition to Naidu being his son’s father-in-law. It is his responsibility to support Naidu. In usual, people like to prefer Harikrishna than Balakrishna with regard to legacy of NTR. Absence of Harikrishna and Jr NTR sent wrong signals to the people. NTR family feud came to fore during padayatra and at one stage it is feared that the party will be taken over by Jr NTR one day or the other.
Play role in national politics?
Chandrababu Naidu keeps his options open to play a key role at the Centre by making efforts for third front. If he wanted to make his presence felt in the national politics, he needs at least 30-35 Lok Sabha seats. He can make a move towards third front only after the elections. It is believed that UPA-III is not that easy as anticipated for Congress with many scams. Similarly, BJP too has its own minus points. At this juncture, leaders like Naidu has a role to play in the national politics by forming a new front as he did in the past provided he has his own strength.
Undoubtedly, 208-day padayatra definitely yielded some result for Naidu, though not expected levels. TDP’s show of strength at the grand finale of padayatra and tumultuous welcome in Hyderabad gave hype for Naidu in the party circles. He managed to change the mindset of some leaders who are acting like cat on the wall. The padayatra also boosted the morale of the party cadre. But how far it could turn into votes is a thousand dollar question. If he could not make that much impact in the State, Naidu depends on parliament seats to play a vital role in national politics. Spending time with people till the elections approached is the only way for leaders like Chandrababu Naidu for now!