Alliances in Andhra Pradesh
Centre has good relation with Jagan
Naidu looking for two way love
(Dr Pentapati Pullarao)
Elections to Andhra assembly are 30 months away and early talk of political alliances is a hot topic. It is confirmed in Indian politics that a good alliance can bring victory. Due to intense democracy, there are deep divisions in Indian society. Small political parties represent the interests of some castes and they are in a position to transfer votes. Hence, alliances are sought by regional and national parties.
The BJP in 2004 under Atal Behari Vajpayee evicted all allies and then went on to a great un-expected defeat. The BJP in 2004 threw out the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha , DMK , Buta Singh in Rajasthan, Chautala’s Haryana Lok Dal, the great AGP in Assam and all the North East small parties.
Important BJP leaders like late Pramod Mahajan kept saying that BJP under Vajpayee will win 300 MPs and needs no one. This arrogance and political stupidity resulted in political suicide in 2004.The BJP had 192 MPs and came down to 138 MPs. Congress Party which never dreamt of power formed the Government in 2004. After 2004, Vajpayee lost his charisma and quickly forgotten.
Humble in 2014..Arrogant in 2019
The BJP was humble in 2014 and acquired many allies. But in 2019, after BJP won Parliament elections, arrogant BJP said that either small parties can merge with BJP or they will not be made Ministers. But suddenly, after losing Bengal, Narendra Modi developed fears and immediately took MPs from small parties into his Cabinet and also in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. One good thing about Narendra Modi- he rushes into decisions. But when Modi realizes he has blundered, he immediately backtracks. Remember how he withdrew the 3-Farm laws ?
Recently, Chandra Babu Naidu talking about political alliances with Pawan Kalyan spoke poetically about love that ‘What is the use of one-sided love? Immediately, Naidu’s question about ‘ one-sided love’ set off a storm of speculation on alliances in Andhra. No doubt, Naidu has been thinking about how lonely he is !
In Andhra, the 3 main players are Jagan Mohan Reddy, Naidu and Pawan Kalyan ,though BJP and Left parties are present. In 2014, humble Naidu sought alliances with Pawan Kalyan and BJP and became Chief Minister. But after 2014, sycophants did to Chandra Babu what BJP sycophants Pramod Mahajan and others (some of them are alive and in office) did to Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2004. These sycophants told Naidu that he is now extremely popular and people love him. Naidu was convinced he can win on his own and thus helped Jagan Mohan Reddy win.
Naidu shall resist Medhavi’s around him
Naidu is actually a very shrewd man. He immediately senses a trick or a plot. But then, when even the Gods like flattery, how can Naidu resist the flatterers and the ‘Medhavis’ surrounding him ? Naidu is now humble again, as he realizes that he cannot fight without allies.
There is no limit to any kind of alliances in politics. The present foes of BJP were once great allies of BJP. Mamata Banerjee, Shiv Sena, Telugu Desam, Naveen Patnaik ,Jharkhand Mukti Morhca , the great DMK were all Ministers in a BJP Government . Now they are big opponents of BJP. Similarly , anytime, they can become allies again. So in Andhra Pradesh, any party can become an ally.
- Obviously, Chandra Babu Naidu and Jagan Mohan Reddy will not be allies. Similarly, the Left parties and the BJP will not be allies. It also looks like Pawan Kalyan and Jagan Mohan Reddy also cannot be allies. But the BJP cam ally with any of the three.
- Chandra Babu Naidu and the BJP can be allies. From 1999-2004 and 2014-2018, Chandra Babu Naidu and BJP were allies. Naidu broke alliance with BJP in 2009 and 2018. But nothing can stop them from becoming allies again . Everyone knows there are no permanent friends of foes in politics.
- Naidu and Pawan Kalyan were allies in 2014 .Naidu obviously ignored Pawan Kalyan after becoming Chief Minister. But there is no rule which says that Chandra Babu and Pawan Kalyan cannot become allies in the future. Somewhere Chanakya said “ An enemy of an enemy is my friend “.
Like this alliances Possible in Andhra
a. There is the possibility of Naidu and Pawan Kalyan becoming allies before elections, if they want to defeat Jagan Mohan Reddy . Even a Panchayat ward member knows that Chandra Babu badly needs to stop Jagan Mohan reddy. If Jagan Reddy wins a fresh term, then Chandra Babu and his social groups will be marginalized . So Naidu definitely needs Pawan Kalyan. Whether Pawan Kalyan agrees or not is another issue . But Naidu is a very experienced diplomat
b. Pawan Kalyan is presently allied with the BJP. But if Pawan Kalyan wants to give a tough fight to Jagan Mohan Reddy , he also knows that Naidu must be part of the alliance. Pawan Kalyan has been in politics since 2008 & tasted defeat twice and battle-tested. Defeat is a good teacher for a good student. Pawan Kalyan may have learnt some good lessons there. Time will tell. There is enough time for Pawan Kalyan to decide. He could also afford one more defeat, which Naidu can’t afford.
c. The Andhra BJP is totally directed by its Delhi bosses. Central BJP has a very good relationship with Jagan Reddy. But after the 5- state elections in march,2022, Central BJP will assess the situation . If BJP does badly in the 5-State elections, then it will try for a Pre-Poll alliance in Andhra with Jagan Reddy. If Jagan Reddy refuses an alliance, then nothing will stop the BJP from tying up with TDP .
Jagan likes post-election alliance
d. Jagan Reddy would only like Post-election alliances. That means the BJP will be unhappy. To avoid angering the BJP, Jagan Reddy will try for early assembly elections, so that Parliament elections will be later. Ideally, Jagan Reddy would like that Naidu has no alliances. But if Jagan reddy does not ally with BJP, then BJP may go for the TDP. It is a difficult choice for Jagan Reddy.
What response can Jagan Reddy give ?
Even Naidu’s talk about an alliance with Pawan Kalyan has stirred Andhra politics . Jagan Reddy will have to walk carefully. He cannot say that he gave doles to many people and they will vote for him . You see, even if you feed a tiger meat every day, it will kill you if you enter its cage . That is why so many zoo-keepers die, as they assume the tiger has become a friend. Voters in Andhra are fickle. They have little respect for what you did yesterday or anything else. Naidu thought he understood Andhra voters and distributed a lot of ‘ Pasupu -Kumkum. But voters punished him.
Placating Kapu community is difficult job
Jagan Reddy also will have the difficult job of placating the Kapu community, which is over 20% and who voted for him in a big way in 2019. As Jagan Reddy is in power, there is anti-incumbency in many ways.
Jagan Reddy has time and can do many course-corrections . But will he ?
The problem for Jagan Reddy is that if Kapus and other communities sense that Naidu-Pawan Kalyan alliance is strong, then many will desert him for the winning horse.
Naidu spoke about how ‘ one-sided ‘ love is useless and how there must be two-sided love . People were surprised that Naidu was sentimental and maybe is a poet too. The great Shakespeare said that the path of love is very thorny . But the great American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson would have approved of Naidu. Emerson said :’all the world loves a lover “. Naidu is on the right track looking for allies, who will love him.