The now-forgotten “two eyes” policy of former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu was suddenly revived the week. During the separate Telangana movement, Naidu had said that that Telangana and Andhra were like his two eyes.
After becoming the CM of AP in 2014, Naidu gradually changed his policy and concentrated on one ‘eye’, Andhra Pradesh, and ignored the other, Telangana. Or so it seemed, till he joined the effort to fight the novel coronavirus disease Covid-19 and donated `10 lakh to the AP CM’s Relief Fund. Now, wherever his eye is, Naidu has a foot firmly planted in Hyderabad.
He owns a posh house in Hyderabad and the headquarters of Heritage is located in the Telangana state capital. Some people in Telangana state are asking Naidu where his ‘two eyes’ policy is now, and why he did not donate to the Telangana state CM’s Relief Fund even though he stays in Hyderabad with his family. Even Telangana TD leaders are finding it difficult to find a reply to this question.
Sop delayed, but TRS still claims credit
Onlookers are puzzled at the claims of the ministers in Hyderabad, the mayor and the chairman of the Civil Supplies Corporation about the distribution of free ration, particularly rice, to the poor in Hyderabad, which started on April 3. The thing is, as per the announcement made by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, the free distribution had to commence on March 27 in Hyderabad as well across the state. Outside of the capital, ministers and MLAs who had clout with the local administrations succeeded in the launching of the rice distribution in their respective areas and garnered publicity. In the state capital, the political entities failed to get the bureaucrats moving.
The babus told their political bosses that they would not be able to cope with the demand in the city unless the required quantity of grain is placed at their disposal. When the bureaucrats finally succeeded in getting the stocks, the elected and nominated entities — the ministers, the mayor and the Civil Supplies Corporation chief — began claiming credit for the distribution. No one explained why the poor in the capital had to wait a full week during the lockdown to finally get the rice. It was another matter that the distribution was affected by a server crash at the Civil Supplies Corporation.
Amid lockdown, the political virus regains its voice
After lying low for some days, the political virus has broken out again. After the spread of the novel coronavirus disease and the subsequent lockdown, parties of all hues at the national and state levels silenced their guns and extended their support to the respective governments.
But now, the political parties have started airing statements criticising the Centre and the state governments over tackling the coronavirus. Congress leaders in Telangana state are criticising Chief Minister K. Chandra-shekar Rao and Telugu Desam leaders are taking on AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. At the national level, the Congress has started criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for declaring the lockdown without preparing the administration for it as well as for his calls to bang utensils and turn off lights and light lamps. It is not clear whether the lockdown will be lifted on April 15 or not, but for the parties the political lockdown has clearly lifted.
Publicity hunger in the times of Covid
The lure of publicity knows no bounds for a section of politicians, and they are willing to even risk the health of the people, as well as their own, to draw the limelight on themselves.
AP tourism minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao representing the Bhimli Assembly constituency in Visakhapatnam district and YSRC MLA from Chilakaluripeta Vidadala Rajini of Guntur district are prime examples of this virus.
Both these worthies took to inaugurating the quarantine centres meant to house those suspected of having Covid-19 or are infected with it, at Visakhapatnam and Narasaraopeta.
Their move drew flak from the people, who described Srinivasa Rao and Rajini to be so publicity-hungry as to take the smallest opportunity to make it to the media even when the risk was so great....