N Chandrababu Naidu and Rahul Gandhi bury the hatchet

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | S.N.C.N. ACHARYULU
Published Nov 2, 2018, 12:56 am IST
Updated Nov 2, 2018, 12:56 am IST
Naidu says ‘political compulsion’ forces him to join hands with old foe Congress.
N Chandrababu Naidu
 N Chandrababu Naidu

Hyderabad: Telugu Desam president and AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu stepped into the residence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi for the very first time, proving that in politics there are no permanent enemies or friends.

Till he broke ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party eight months ago, Mr Naidu was a vocal critic of the Congress party and its leaders, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. He called Sonia Gandhi “Sonia Godse”.  Mr Naidu had said that the Congress party should be buried and called on farmers to come onto the streets with swords to kill the Congress. He had said the Congress party is a “shani” to the country.

 

Today, with his party in alliance with the Congress for the elections to the Telangana Assembly, he considers the Congress party necessary to save the nation and democracy. Defending his alliance with the Congress which has been a political enemy of the TD since its inception in 1982, Mr Naidu said “political compulsion” led him to it. He believes now that the BJP has become more of a threat to the country and to “save the nation” and to “save democracy” it is inevitable to join hands with the Congress. 

“NTR established TD to protect self-respect of Telugu people. At that time, Congress was problematic. Now, with BJP, we are facing bigger problems. Telugus are being insulted and their voices are being curbed. There is nothing wrong in working with Congress to control BJP. I will reach out to the smallest parties and talk to them personally. Congress is a big party. When we decided to ally with everyone, there is no need to follow conventions. That’s why even though Rahul is younger than me, I am going to meet him,” Mr Naidu said.

Mr Naidu had once said in the Assembly of undivided AP, in a wordy duel with the then Chief Minister, the late Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, that 30 per cent of Congress blood flows in him.

When N.T. Rama Rao, Mr Naidu’s father-in-law, founded the Telugu Desam, Mr Naidu was a minister in the Congress government. He had said then that if the Congress asks him to, he is ready to contest against Rama Rao in the Assembly elections. In the joint press conference with Mr Naidu on Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said: “We both have agreed not to go into the past, but to talk about the present and the future.”

Mr Naidu’s has been a series of flip-flops when it comes to alliances. When the communal carnage flared up in Gujarat on Narendra Modi’s watch, Mr Naidu had announced that in future the Telugu Desam will have no truck with the BJP, and Mr Modi should be sent out of the country.

This principled stance came to nought when Mr Modi became his party’s PM candidate and Mr Naidu allied with the BJP in 2014. He has now broken ties with the BJP and hopped onto the Congress bandwagon.

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