Andhra Politics: Pathological insecurity of CBN

If there is ranking for cynically insecure politicians in India, CBN should top the rankings by huge margin.  The fact that he lacks basic leadership skills aggravates his insecurity. A poor communicator with no charisma, so far he failed to convince people of Andhra Pradesh that he represents an alternative even when there is all pervasive political gloom in the state across regions. People at large are not enthused about his leadership even after 8 years of disastrous congress government. Even TDP supporters are not convinced about his ability to bring party to power.


As a party TDP had glorious history of decimating congress in the state when national parties of all ideological hues failed to even challenge congress in the state for a very long time after independence.  TDP also became a pole of anti-congress politics at national level when it was principal opposition in parliament during Rajiv era. NTR took the initiative to bring all anti-congress forces across the board on a common platform as national front chairman in 1989. All that is glorious history for TDP, as soon as CBN took over TDP and CM of AP in a coup he started politics of convenience, calculations and cronyism.

Politics needs calculations, strategies but they are not substitutes for credible leadership. In 1996 parliament elections TDP went into elections under CBN for the first time, it got 38% of votes, a massive 14% drop from 52% votes in 1994 assembly elections under NTR in seats contested. TDP won 16 MP seats and took the support of its rival in state congress to form the United Front government. CBN played key role in UF government formation. Media hailed him as the modern Chanakya who even turned down PM offer to serve his dear state of AP.

The people of Andhra were not convinced about CBN’s chanakya niti, they saw the UF govt for what it is, a rag-tag combination of pigmies surviving on congress ventilator support. In 1998 elections TDP won just 12 seats. There was massive swing towards Bjp, it won 4 seats on its own and an unprecedented 18% vote share. People rejected CBN Chanakya strategies even after his massive PR overdrive presenting himself as a moderniser and visionary. CBN politics is communist-cong combo in political strategy and neo crony-capitalist in vision, infact he was baptized and schooled in congress before he switched over to TDP after NTR’s historic 1983 victory.

Bowing before the pressure of people CBN supported NDA from outside while getting his party man as speaker to avoid any prospective shift in TDP MPs loyalty, another example of his extreme caution and insecurity. In 1999 Bjp-TDP alliance secured massive mandate in MP seats but couldn’t manage same level of success in assembly tally. Some argue that CBN benefited from Bjp alliance, it was a mutually beneficial tie-up though after winning CBN made all efforts to eat into Bjp base forgetting congress still had huge base waiting to be squeezed

After 2004 rout of TDP-BJP in AP, CBN was devastated and moaned that people of AP failed his vision. He hastily snapped ties with “communal” Bjp blaming it for the rout. After 9yrs as CM he donned the role of opposition leader, YSR made mince-meat of his opposition at each step. YSR aggressively focussed on squeezing the TDP space with carrot and stick policy. CBN was no match to the aggressiveness of YSR in power. He was ridiculed, lampooned for his insecurity, backstabbing history by rank and file of congress party with active cheer leading by YSR.

In 2009 elections CBN managed to form a grand alliance with left and TRS, parties that joined YSR in 2004 now joined him against YSR. In a three cornered race between TDP alliance, congress and chiranjeevi party, YSR won with simple majority. TDP improved its tally mostly because of its performance in telangana.

After YSR’s death and telangana fiasco there is massive shift in political equations in telangana. In coastal Andhra Jagan became rallying point to Christian, muslim minority and his caste. Chiranjeevi merged his party and is rewarded with a central ministry. Recent assembly by-polls suggest jagan has achieved traction among voters. It’s going to be a 3-way fight and each percent vote is precious for all parties.

Bjp, as a party has no credible leadership in the state, but andhrites responded to national trends and rewarded bjp more than what they deserve. In 1991 at the peak of Rama Janmabhoomi movement 10% andhrites voted to Bjp.  In 1996, 1998 parliament elections 6%, 18% andhrites voted for bjp respectively without any major alliance. In 2009 even in a multi-cornered contest bjp got 4% votes for parliament election. So there is huge vote vacillation for bjp in Andhra between 4-18%.

In coastal Andhra right thinking andhrites are concerned about rise of Jagan, they would either prefer TDP or congress. This vote is the natural constituency of TDP, but TDP needs a national party to reassure this constituency about its capacity to challenge congress, jagan. An alliance with Bjp with a leader like modi at helm could add huge X factor and bring incremental vote to the alliance. In telangana Bjp could easily get 10-15% votes on its own in the changed scenario. General consensus among political circles is TDP badly needs incremental votes and a credible message to boost its campaign and Modi-CBN alliance could just do that.

It seems Modi has realised this ground reality and extended his hand of friendship inviting CBN and Balakrishna to swearing ceremony, recognizing Balakrishna’s popularity among TDP base. He has done that despite CBN’s unilateral snatching of ties with Bjp.  CBN could have used this occasion to again build bridges with Bjp. Even if he is not interested at this time as a party president, he could have let Balakrishna to attend the ceremony when he received invitation in the name of NTR. Infact many supporters of TDP were jubilant over the invitation. But CBN shamelessly interfered in a personal invitation, had Balakrishna decided not to attend on his own, nobody would have questioned his personal choice.  After this episode questions will be raised on whether sons of legendary NTR have any individuality of their own.

What explains this behaviour of CBN? It’s just pathological insecurity. He is ready to get humiliated by his enemies, but would never let anybody from his party to gain importance.  He would rather take TDP down than letting somebody else to share limelight both within his party or in an alliance, that too modi who succeeded where he failed.

CBN would rather like to win no parliament seats at all if he can’t make up to a majority in assembly in the fear of creating alternative power centres in Delhi within party. What if Balakrishna becomes an MP and decides to become a minister in Modi government, the thought itself most likely would send shivers in his spine. With this kind of insecurity, lack of leadership it’s not surprising that many political watchers predict doom for TDP under CBN.


About krishnarjun108

curiosity is my addiction
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18 Responses to Andhra Politics: Pathological insecurity of CBN

  1. Amita says:

    Very good one mate!!!

  2. Ravi says:

    Your article seems to be critical of Naidu, just because he is not aligning with BJP. I have heard this kind of abuse from lot of people who dream of this alliance.

    I think the step taken by TDP is right for the time being. There is no major benefit of attending the swearing ceremony, but the adverse propaganda by YSRCP and congress will be higher. If Modi/BJP wants to align with TDP and vice-versa, there is lot of time ahead and timing is always important in Politics. The situation in Gujarat is very different form AP.

    As you would be aware, the electorate in AP is heavily polarized and is heavily swayed by Media. I believe most of the current ministers and MLAs of congress will move over to YSRCP by elections or YSRCP will be merged with congress. MIM will align with them. YSRCP has solid vote bank of Christians+Reddy. Majority of Kappus will eventually vote for YSRCP. The only strength BJP has today is in Telangana and a minuscule 2-4% in coastal. TDP has to depend on Kamma+BC+Madiga. They would require muslim vote to make a difference. Muslims play crucial role in atleast 55 assembly seats in AP. Muslim’s are not going to vote en masse to congress anymore. It will be split between YSRCP,TDP and Congress. The need of the hour for TDP is to bring its core vote bank closer to the party before the next elections.

    Atleast Naidu had the courtesy to wish Modi on electoral Success. Nitish has not even done that till date even though he is on support of BJP.

    Last but not the least, I am a NAMO supporter and dream to see BJP+TDP combo 🙂

    • Thanks Ravi for the comment, i partially agree with you. I don’t think YSRC and congress will merge atleast before elections. Coming to minority vote as soon as modi is projected at national level minority vote across the country will move towards the party best suited to defeat Bjp, trust me, they won’t trust TDP as anti-Bjp after 1999-2004.
      I think most TDP fans have no idea or little grasp of the capability of NaMo to swing incremental vote, his appeal will be much much bigger than vajpayee on a proven track record.
      All is not lost, i hope TDP and CBN soon realize the absolute necessity of going with Bjp to fight congress menace both at state and centre 🙂

  3. Noname says:

    CBN is no more a modern day Chanakya nor a World bank’s poster-boy. But, he lives to live in his own world, belittling his party’s prospects. As of today, CBN has failed to project himself as a credible alternate and instead uses old tactics that hardly provide the much needed acceleration.

    CBN may have won decisively had there been no other party in the race owing to the non-governance of existing government. But Andhra politics being extremely dynamic, there is little space left for him to perform, probably bringing the curtains down on his career.

  4. Tejo says:

    good one. Surprised to see anyone in AP talking some sense other than petty Caste Politics.
    Congress (through national media etc) have somehow won first battle by isolating BJP and Modi.
    Very unfortunate in Indian Politics that very dynamic leader like Modi is side-lined bu this crooks.
    If united AP is worried about Muslim vote then imagine what will happen with Telangana is divided with 20% Muslim vote? I am not for or against Telangana but this point is not talked much.

    • abhinavram says:

      I generally refrain from discussing politics by religion, but to answer your point – most of Telangana’s Muslim population is concentrated in Hyderabad & other district head quarters. Though the population might be 20% (which is a little exaggerated i think), the impact will be significant on fewer than 25 seats. In Hyderabad, MIM will get most of those votes. And Congress in other places. So, a party like TRS with BJP’s support should very much be able to form a govt in Telangana state assembly (if formed).

  5. Chakravardhan Reddy says:

    Firstly to the jobless person who has written this so called article or analysis on Chandarababu’s insecurity should understand that.. ChandraBabu Naidu (CBN) does not need MODI … But MODI needs CBN if he aspires for PM post, CBN has a better rapport among his national level friends (Be it SP’s mulayam singh yadav; AIADMK’s Jayalalitha ; JDS Deve gouda; CPI ‘s Prakash Karat ,Sitaram Yechury & many more..) than MODI… MODI is opposed in his own RSS and BJP circles and even many Non-congress parties or leaders do not like to associate with MODI for obvious reasons!!

    And about CBN influencing Balakrishna’s decision on MODI’s invitation, is good screenplay writeup by you … Because Balakrishna is wise enough to understand the very reason of this invitation from MODI & BJP, If MODI had that concern to invite a person from NTR family , why didn’t he choose HARIKRISHNA who is also NTR’s son & who is an active TDP politburo & Rajayasaba member .. why choose BALAKRISHNA …?

    Let me tell you in AP each & every parties main agenda now is to restrict TDP from gaining momentum & they are eagerly waiting for opportunities to attack TDP even if there is slightest mistakes.. Because they know if TDP is back into the power,what CBN is capable of doing …. we have seen what happened in FDI voting issue, though the bill would anyhow pass in Rajayasabha with or with out TDP’s concerns,there was a huge upcry made on 3 MP’s not attending the voting session & tried there best to malign TDP . And now this MODI’s invitation will also be looked on the similar grounds but the other parties & depending upon the move TDP takes they will attack , LIKE YOU DID since he did not take decision in your favor rather gave priority to parties interests .. And my friend he does not need certificates form a petty blogger like you, better keep your certificates to yourself 🙂

    And who said TDP supporters are not convinced about ChandraBabu Naidu’s (CBN) ability to bring party to power… Are you the voice of TDP ..? or have you run any of your internal survey on this …? Before even MODI could understand the very essence of development , CBN was on his way building foundations for the better society & a better AP . It was the long drought which has taken a toll on his gov & YSR’s (Anti Farmer Goebbels propaganda)

    Now people understand that, how even in such drought condition CBN managed to give a better governance compared to what congress is doing now, with all the resources handy. Farmers are sick of this present GOV , The industries are backing off , small scale industries are hit badly,There is no proper power supply & the charges are on the raise all time, worst situation in AP when compared to the other neighboring states … No proper planing or execution capabilities by the present leadership, With no proper JOB’s the youth of AP are running to the neighboring cities BANGALORE, CHENNAI & PUNE for better opportunities.. the only people who are happy in AP are the middle mans, the contractors , the dealers who are busy minting money. And for these people YSR is a god .. because he was the one who showed them ways of earning money by all wrong means … Now with a dedicated TV channel at handy, there agenda is only to glorifying the culprits & brain wash people, the same tried & tested tactics which has been followed by these christian groups to convert people , And mind you… YSR family is very good at that, and one should appreciate there ability of playing these cheap mind games.With all these ill doings and creating sever losses to the GOV exchequer , they have grown to the height’s … If even educated people do not understand or acknowledge this,then the much darker days are yet to come …

    Let me also remind you that PR work can’t influence ..The governor of Illinois created a ” Naidu Day” in his honour.

    He administration was one of the best administration till date is AP’s political history ..He is the First Chief Minister of India to totally Computerize Government services across the State by introduced E-Seva, so that common people can have better access to the GOV services.

    The Rurally overpowered State was turned in a Tech Hub by Chandrababu Naidu, Which earned him many credits.Naidu has shaken up the states moribund administration into the most efficient civil service in South Asia. On this regard Time has awarded Naidu as South Asian of the Year

    Chandrababu Naidu was the only Chief Minister in India who has attracted the attention of many world renounced leaders like Tony Blair , Kofi Annan , Bill Clinton , Goh Chok Tong & Bill Gates visited him in Hyderabad .. Under his administration INDIA & the WORLD stared recognizing Andhrites POWER .

    The international School of Bussiness which was supposed to be set up in Mumbai was attracted by Mr. Naidu and set up in Hyderabad to put the small capital onto the global map and attracted the attention of many big international companies.

    By the end of his second term in 2004, He could create more than 3,00,00 Jobs from the IT Sector alone. Which further created a ripple of indirect employment opportunities across the state.

    And I can just go on & on his better administration & his capabilities ..

    For many bureaucrats & politicians & even to MODI he is an inspiration, people like him have more positives than negatives, no one is perfect but people like CBN are the Politicians who can make Andhra Pradesh the world renowned State which he strived to do.

    Show me ONE CAPABLE LEADER of such caliber in AP and then discuss further.

    • Even if i am Jobless, as a free citizen of a democratic country i think i have right to my political opinion or criticize leaders who i feel are not doing their job

      you have expressed your opinion on why CBN is THE MOST CAPABLE LEADER in AP, but many in AP don’t feel so, That’s why he was stripped of his Job 9 yrs back

      I agree Making governance IT enabled is a positive contribution from CBN, but that’s not enough for people to elect him after 9years. Coming to IT, many states achieved growth in IT sector without much fuss compared to CBN. What’s his contribution to manufacturing and agriculture in 9yrs?. what’s the contribution of naidu to rest of the state outside Hyderabad.

      Ultimately, praise from clinton, illinois governor couldn’t win the hearts of people in andhra on the ground

      • Chakravardhan Reddy says:

        Firstly let me quote this for you ” Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity ” .. The way you are articulating things & they way you are asking questions, on his contribution to manufacturing industry & his contribution to rest of the state outside Hyderabad, makes me laugh 🙂 And that gives an idea on, the kind of BUBBLE you live in 🙂 Good too see bloggers these days who don’t bother to do there research & post articles instead. And say it’s there democratic right to criticize .. 🙂

        In the 2004 Assembly election TDP lost by a difference of 5% vote… One of the main reasons was the severe Years of drought that gripped AP .And he wanted to create a new work culture for the government in AP. But some of the employees did not like it. Moreover, there was a false propaganda that the government was going to reduce the retirement age of government employees. Then the anti-incumbency factor worked against him.

        In 2009 it was a clear strategical fault which made TDP pay… A wrong alliance with TRS & it’s under performance which caused the party dearly , And a good for nothing party PRP also played a spoil sport.. but TDP’s performance was good in-spite the heavy Anti Farmer Goebbels propaganda lead by YSR & congress party .only 2 percent votes made the difference in AP assembly then.

        Now coming back to your hilarious questions on
        What’s his contribution to manufacturing and agriculture in 9yrs?. what’s the contribution of naidu to rest of the state outside Hyderabad.

        Well to know about the manufacturing sector go through the State’s Business Relations and Performance of Manufacturing Sector stats , you will get a clear picture on how Manufacturing industry was running in AP before CBN regime & how it evolved over the time period ..

        To the agriculture sector he has taken up a campaign for sensitising the people of the State and the administration for better management of water to prevent drought. Launching programmes like ‘Neeru Meeru, formation of Watershed Committees, promotion of Water Shed development have all been taken up in the State for better management of water. The impact analysis studies of the Neeru-Meeru programme, conducted by the Ground Water Department, showed in spite of a 35 per cent deficit in rainfall, the ground water level being maintained at 11.73 m and 10.50 m respectively. Because of his foreseeability.
        Rythu Bazars were introduced with a view to eliminate the middlemen and arrange facilities for the farmers to sell their produce directly to the consumers at reasonable rates fixed every day. The scheme benefits both the farmers and the consumers. Rythu Bazar is thus an initiative to create infrastructure facilities to enable farmers to sell their products directly to retail consumers thereby ensuring that farmers realize better prices and consumers receive fresh vegetables, fruits, etc., at reasonable prices and thus address constraints in agri-marketing infrastructure. Also go through Dwacra groups for women ..

        For state he has created a safer environment of law, order and peace, the basic factors for achieving prosperity, Naidu set to work on creating the infrastructure that would set the stage for attracting investment & economic progress.
        Road network development was taken on in a big way, with world class expressways and four way lanes, besides the improvement of the roads-network between various cities and in the cities and villages. 75000 kms of rural roads ; 5,100 kms of state roadways be upgraded as National Highways; 772 kms of four lanes on NH7… In the rural segment, a secondary core network of over 53,000 kms is envisaged with atleast one all-weather road connectivity to each village.

        Lastly, He has worked to improve irrigation and water management, encouraged the creation of thousands of village self-help groups of women who were able to get bank finance as a result, emphasized rural development, and ensured that subsidized rice reached more homes in AP than in any other state, by overseeing the smooth functioning of the public distribution system… But the PROBLEM with CBN is his working style & his nature, He always asks people for short-term sacrifices for a better future. But congress has successfully infused laziness into the blood stream’s of people , who are now only looking for easy ways for making it BIG.

        And as I said .. I can go on & on & on.., But I would rest my case here because… one can explain things to an ignorant but not to someone who is acting ignorant. Looks like if CBN is incapable of administration then JaGUN anna , Sharmila akka ,Vijayamma , Ambati Rambabu & Brother Anil might seem brighter prospects for you 🙂

        Anyways good luck to you & your blog, let some sense prevail here .. AMEN 🙂

      • O.k Mr enlightened busy genius don’t laugh at ignorants bring facts and figures to educate them

        here is the planning commission figures for GSDP at constant prices for the period 1994-95 to 2001-02, AP grew at 5.7% during this period, AP growth rate was below karnataka, Gujarat, many other states and almost at the level of tamilnadu

        There were no internationally recognized CBNs or members of his genius tribe like you ruling those states during that period. They also made progress in IT

        so, your genius doesn’t recognize loss by 5%, the actual vote difference is 6%, get your numbers right before giving your genius sermons, the loss was across all regions, both urban & rural, even his dream city andhra singapore didn’t vote him

        On manufacturing come with facts and figures, what are the new sectors in manufacturing that got impetus under CBN, just floating some baseles assertions won’t convince anyone

        How much agri infra was added under CBN, How much more agri land was brought under irrigation?

        Roads, both highways and rural roads improved all over india during that period mainly because of the NDA intiative.

        Next time come with facts and figures, empty CBN adulation won’t convince anybody…

  6. Completely Agree with you analysis, infact I was contemplating a few days back that under current scenario TDP election prospects are doomed in 2014 and with that maybe the political career of CBN and so the only way of salvation is an alliance with bjp led by NaMo.

  7. abhinavram says:

    The analysis completely excludes the Telangana angle. Both Modi and BJP have consistently supported the formation of Telangana. How can they then align with CBN who will not accept the splitting of the state at any cost?

    Also, as you have rightly pointed out, CBN is a spent force. Unless, junior NTR or to an extent Balakrishna take charge, I don’t see a resurgence of TDP happening in 2014. They will be routed in Telangana (as seen in the by-elections, due to CBN’s ambivalence on this topic). Coastal Andhra & Rayalaseema will be a 3-way fight between Jagan, TDP and Congress. My guess is that Jagan will end up winning a majority, with Congress winning the next most seats.

    The best bet for Modi would be to align with TRS and try to sweep the 11 seats in Telangana (9 more realistically, if you remove Hyderabad and 1 seat in Khammam). Both TRS & Jagan can’t support Modi at the same time (because of their conflicting stands on Telangana). My guess is that, BJP will only focus on TRS for now and leave TDP for good.

  8. Arvind Jain says:

    Excellent Analysis. For a outsider, like me AP politics is a mistry. I hope BJP is able to build up its Vote-bank in most important state like AP.

  9. Ram says:

    Though Modi seems to be best for the PM candidature, there are many like me who won’t vote for him (atleast I believe) because of his association with BJP.

    And FYI, BJP will never can build votebank in Andhra Pradesh. Tell me one reason why people should vote for BJP? Just because it can stop Christian Missionaries aggressiveness? Going by the history of BJP in Andhra, it never AGGRESSIVELY protested against Christian Missionaries forcible conversions. Kishan Reddy would held Press Conference and blabber something about them and forget about it. BJP’s only focus seems to be bashing Muslims and not to protect Hindutva. If it was a issue involving Muslim Community, BJP stands first in the queue protesting against them. There was protest in Old City involving Bhagya Lakshmi Temple. Fine!!! But what about many churches being built around the temples in rural Andhra Pradesh. Why was that issue safely ignored? Don’t tell that BJP ALSO fought against conversions. It the scale of aggressiveness and fight that matters not just protesting with some press conferences.

    Wherever they couldn’t mint votes from the name of religion, they would resort to Divide and Conquer rule in the name of Region. Telangana is one such strategy. When BJP is in power in Maharashtra, why was not Vidharba formed. Or why is the demand for Saurastra is taken up by BJP? It proves that BJP’s small states philosophy is just a part of Vote Bank politics.

    It proves that BJP is similar to Congress except for the exceptions like Narendra Modi or some good administrators. We should not look at BJP just because of leaders like Modi.

    Regarding CBN and Modi, I agree with fellow blogger Chakravardhan Reddy. CBN was way ahead of Modi as administrator. CBN doesn’t need Modi but Modi needs CBN.

  10. Satish says:

    Nice articke, Iam n also looking a for TDP + BJP alliance. or A stronger TDP supporting BJP at the centre.

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