29-08-201929-08-2019 10:35:37 IST
Updated On 29-08-2019 10:42:02 ISTUpdated On 29-08-20192019-08-29T05:05:37.796Z29-08-2019 2019-08-29T05:05:02.009Z - 2019-08-29T05:12:02.072Z - 29-08-2019
'One issue, different voices’ is a political trait that the Bharatiya Janata Party appears to have picked up from its arch-rival, the Congress party. During the entire five years of TDP’s rule in Andhra Pradesh between 2014-19, one could see the BJP leaders speaking in divergent tones and making contradictory claims on a host of issues.
More importantly, this ambiguous approach was evident on key issues like Polavaram and even on AP capital Amaravati. The BJP leaders were always criticized for being divided into two groups, one tacitly supporting Chandrababu Naidu and the other opposing his policies tooth and nail.
A similar tendency is back to the fore again now. This time, the conflicting positions revolve around the accusations of ‘insider trading’ by the TDP bigwigs prior to the announcement of Amaravati as AP capital.
BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao caused flutters on Wednesday when he said there was massive-scale corruption in Amaravati capital development plans during the previous TDP regime. The assertion came as part of his claim that the Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSRCP government does not seem to be in the mood to retain and continue Amaravati as AP’s capital.
Raising concerns over the fate of the huge swathes of farmers’ lands in such an eventuality, he demanded the state government to disclose the names of all those who resorted to ‘insider trading’ and thus profited massively.
Interestingly, GVL’s position on ‘insider trading’ seems to be hitting leaders from within his own party ranks. It comes close on the heels of a statement made by former Union minister and BJP’s new entrant from TDP Sujana Chowdary the other day. The once-close aide of Chandrababu Naidu has been openly rubbishing the claims of the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government on ‘insider trading’.
Chowdary has recently toured around the capital region to throw his weight behind the ‘affected farmers’ when they took to streets. This has led to a war of words between him and AP minister Botsa Satyanarayana, who the other day accused the former of holding hundreds of acres of land in the capital region through his benamis.
But even before this fist-fight has come to an end, the startling claims made by GVL Narasimha Rao has not only deepened the mystery but even exposed the serious divide within the BJP on the issue in the most glaring fashion. This has led to whispered talk that GVL’s remarks were more of a veiled attack on some of his own party leaders and that it was a salvo aimed at these ‘newly emerging influential leaders’ rather than the TDP men.
Though GVL’s latest remarks appear on the face as a criticism of the Jaganmohan Reddy government’s approach on the issue, many see this as a pressure tactic to hasten the state government into disclosing the names of those allegedly involved in insider trading.
The latest turn of events has certainly brought to the fore the sharp differences within the BJP on the larger issue of corruption in a host of schemes and projects during the previous TDP rule. Just as it happened during the TDP rule, the BJP once again seems to have been divided into two camps – one raising voice over corruption during Chandrababu Naidu’s regime while taking a pragmatic view on the performance of the present YS Jaganmohan Reddy government.
The other camp -- largely spearheaded by the recent defectors from the TDP – allegedly supporting and parroting in alignment with the TDP chief’s deft political moves. The motive behind GVL’s latest comments is being interpreted in a myriad of ways.
For some, he represents that group within the BJP which is keen on exposing the corruption of not just the TDP men but even those who had found a safe haven in the saffron party recently. From a different perspective, it was also being seen as an attempt to check these recent entrants from over-ambitiously becoming ‘de facto’ rulers of the party in the state.
Ever since four Rajya Sabha MPs of the TDP joined the BJP, there has been constant chatter that some of them have actually been playing a more domineering role in the party’s AP politics. This led to the suggestions that the more senior lot of leaders, who have been with the party for ages, were being pushed into a state of irrelevance.
Over the last month or so, there has been a marked difference in the BJP’s approach towards both the ruling YSRCP and the TDP. While there is a sudden spike in the attacks against the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government, a visible softening of stand on the previous TDP government’s corruption sparked off suspicions on whether the BJP had compromised its pronounced stand against Chandrababu Naidu under the influence of the new entrants into the party.
But if the perceived motive behind GVL’s latest comments is anything to go by, the message is coming out loud and clear: That the party cannot be a silent spectator all the time and those who ‘look to hijack the party’ will be quickly reminded, if not reprimanded, of their murky past with some serious questions.
-Durga Prasad Kanamaluru
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