Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In fragmented AP, clandestine politics is now the norm!

Naidu with 2 of the 3 MPs in controversy
Photo Courtesy: The Hindu/Md.Yousuf
The role of 3 TDP MPs in the recent vote for FDI has again bought into fore the clandestine politics that are now underway in Andhra Pradesh. The 3 MPs Sujana Chowdary, Devender Goud, G Sudharani are from financially strong background and none have them have the UPA’s CBI breathing down their neck for any case. Therefore, there isn't a reason for them to get either tempted or intimidated by the UPA. In fact, all 3 were handpicked by Chandrababu Naidu for Rajya Sabha despite stiff opposition from within his party. There is every reason to believe that the MPs did what they did, upon Naidu’s direction.

How the main political parties like Congress and TDP have made covert politics as a norm, rather than an exception, would be understood if we look at events of the past 3 years. It has been 3 years since the Indian government’s Telangana statehood declaration on Dec 9, 2009. The clandestine and manipulative politics that started that midnight unleashed a chain of events that are still unfolding today, further degenerating AP’s politics, reducing it to backroom deals rather than a public display of people's democracy.

While it is not unthinkable that now and then a politician gets some clandestine support from the opposing party, especially during elections, the kind of cross-party secret dealings presently underway in AP are astounding and hard not to notice.

The beginning of the ‘support mechanism

The secret part of SriKrishna report, Chapter 8, put in lurid detail how these covert politics started and were already underway by the time the report was released on 30 December 2010 (The secret ‘Chapter 8’, as you may know, was later leaked inadvertently). To contain the Telangana statehood issue, the SriKrishna Committee’s infamous chapter 8 made the following suggestions (in its own words) –

“.. the ruling party and also the main opposition party ( the TDP run by Chandra Babu) must be brought on the same page, the support mechanisms have a higher probability of becoming successful. The TDP must be advised not to participate in any further meetings that would be called by the Centre. This could be an effective stumbling block for any meaningful dialogue on resolving the Telangana demand. The Andhra Congress MPs belonging to Kamma caste must be encouraged to work in tandem with TDP leadership which is now caught in a bad shape.

Further, on receipt of the Committee’s Report by the Government, a general message should be conveyed amongst the people of the State that Centre will be open for detailed discussions on the recommendations / options of the Report with the concerned leaders / stakeholders either directly or through a Group of Ministers or through important interlocutors and that this process will start at the earliest. But every method must be adopted to avoid giving finality to any discussions to drag on the matter until the agitation is totally brought under control.

(c) Media Management:(i) Andhra Pradesh has got about 13 Electronic Channels and 5 major local Newspapers which are in the forefront of molding the public opinion. Except for two Channels ( Raj News & HMTV), the rest of them are supporters of a united Andhra Pradesh. The equity holders of the channels except the above two and the entire Print Media are with the Seemandhra people. The main editors/ resident and subeditors, the Film world etc. are dominated by Seemandhra people. A coordinated action on their part has the potential of shaping the perception of the common man. However, the beat journalists in the respective regions are locals and are likely to capture only those events/ news which reflect the regional sentiments. This can be tackled by the owners of the media houses by systematically replacing the local journalists by those from Seemandhra wherever it is possible.”

The ‘support mechanism’ flourishes

True to the Chapter 8’s revelations, the Congress and the TDP till now are playing hide and seek in declaring their stand publicly on Telangana and are making sure there is no forward movement on Telangana. Both the parties solidly backed the crackdown on the Telangana agitation which even resulted in fatal injuries to agitators. The result is that both the parties lost all 18 assembly constituencies in Telangana the by-elections were held for, in last 3 years. Their party candidates, In fact, got their deposits only in 2 or 3 constituencies!

Meanwhile, even as the 2 parties crumbled in Telangana, YS Jaganmohan Reddy challenged the Congress leadership for chiefministership and formed the YSRCP, which has been growing in strength in Seemandhra. In this context, the chapter 8’s ‘guidelines’ took a larger meaning for TDP and Congress. The Congress and TDP extended their cooperation beyond the Telangana issue. They needed a policy of continued quid pro quo between them to even politically survive, as their very existence is under threat.

While the Congress helps Naidu get around the CBI investigation unleashed by the High court (just as it did for YS Jagan), he would in turn not press for the no- confidence motion against the Congress government in the state at the most opportune times. Even while the Congress government crackdowns on any meeting, rallies in support of Telangana agitation in ruse of ‘law and order’ problem, it would go out of its way to facilitate Naidu’s yatras into Telanagana with unprecedented police security and thousands of TDP’s armed men. In return, Naidu would let the government just be, even without pressing for a winter assembly session! TDP’s stance with the Congress is once again belied with its MPs’ absence at the FDI vote in Rajya Sabha. True to the spirit of Chapter 8, both the pro-establishment and pro-TDP media continues to propagate how Naidu is ‘hurt’ by this betrayal, while it’s the MPs who were made scapegoats by Naidu, for his own political survival. And the drama goes on. There is nothing anymore that distinguishes the Congress and TDP or YSRCP. All play the same game they mastered in last 3 years. Nothing they say is trusted anymore; it is mere entertainment – an ongoing soap opera.

A real government and a real opposition?

The big question is - would these main parties ever get normal again – into a real government and a real opposition? Or would they continue being under the spell of Chapter 8’s ‘support mechanism’ with these backroom deals? The SKC set about ‘shaping the perception of the common man’ by suggesting manipulative politics and ‘media management’. Instead these strategies it recommended reshaped AP’s political spectrum by destroying the 2 strongest parties in the state. Did they reshape the perception common man? Yes, surely they did, in a large part of AP. So much so that an imminent election would wipe out these 2 parties from their roles in government and principal opposition into 3 and 4 positions and end the ‘support mechanism’ for the good. Till then, the genie unleashed by Chapter 8 would continue to hold its spell on AP’s politics.


Anonymous said...

Please mention one sentence about the way KCR and Vijayshanti abstained from FDI voting. Are they definitely not in the same boat.

Anyway on a larger scale this situation is a reflection of an immoral and unethical demand like Telangana. I repeat it is an immoral and unethical demand just for political gains and some intellectuals who have a desire for just finding a place in history. So essentially it is a demand that needs to be countered as it is undemocratic and sadly the price of it is being paid by common men.

Anonymous said...

1. Telangana was never a state and hence this argument of demerger is absolute lies.

2. The gentlemen agreement is a quid pro quo agreement between political leaders and has no validity.

3. Mulki rules are anti national and have no place in a democracy and in fact exist nowhere else except in this states.

4. Telangaana is not backward and that is proved with numbers conclusively and so much so that the T guys themselves never want to take that discussion and shy away behind sloganeering.

5. Telangana agitation is an immoral demand made by selfish and unemployed politicians and supported by self styled, fame hungry and missed-the-success-boat (or never had material) intellectuals.

6. Telangana agitation is essentially one that would lead to the balkanization of this nation.

7. There never was any idli sambar movement. That was a razakar movement and is now being given new colors by intellectuals/academics who want to find their 15 minute fame.

8. The single reason for Suicides is Harish rao who had set an example of pouring petrol over himself.

9. The Telangana agitation leadership is anti dalit and hence keeps apologising and stating that it will make a BC as chief minister.

That it is compared to GOD knows what agitations is hilarious. I have seen it compared to from the renaissance to the french revolution to the russian, the cuban, the chinese (in fact my advice is one should just do a search and add xxxxxxx revolution is like telangana revolution).

Thankfully people have not said more illogical things that we did not get the Nobel prize because of united state.

And then the 10th point.

10) KCR understood that politics is like a Math game and hence as long as he could get 7% to 8% of vote share he could tempt the other parties which happened. He also knew that there will be a deadlock afterwards which of course he was hoping would be solved by gods grace. And as expected it did not get solved.

BJP is all talk and they too will never give Telangana and believe me even if the 15 or 16 seats that KCR claims will bring Telangana happen even then you may (and a big may) you will get Telangana with Hyderabad as a shared capital which is the best case or without Hyderabad which is the worst case.

Taken all this there is no surprise that all you stated above is happening.

Anyway thanks for allowing comments which you dont like being posted :)

Anonymous said...

The above comments are unwarranted.
As a person you have no right to say this.
You can not use the words immoral and unethical.
Just because you dont like you can not call the telangana demand undemocratic.

Amar said...

/Please mention one sentence about the way KCR and Vijayshanti abstained from FDI voting. Are they definitely not in the same boat./

The post is examining how the undemocratic and covert mechanism between Congress and TDP
mentioned by Chapter 8 is working. parties like MIM and TRS were not part of it and so dont figure in this discussion.

Amar said...

I would not respond to comments that are not relevant to the post. I request the readers to stick to the topic and keep this in mind while commenting. That would help me with my time and energy. Thanks.

Raju said...

Nice post buddy - Liked the way you portrayed the meanness of our politics and its impact on todays burning issues like FDI and Telangana. Todays news channels engross people in the political drama and fail to instill thought among people to reason out the actions of these politicians.

Hope meaty blogs like these will be accessible to many more people and will fill the vacuum of reason left behind by our new channels.

I want this to happen tomorrow :)