Various US newspapers viewed the BJP's resounding victories in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan as an expansion of its dominance in a crucial region before the upcoming general elections
The TDP is not only knocking at the doors of the Supreme Court to secure the release of its president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu but also of its former ally, the BJP. However, the party so far failed to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah adding to the suspicion that the ruling party might be cold-shouldering its ally.
Naidu was sent to judicial remand in connection with the multi-crore Skill Development scam and after the quashing of his petition by the AP High Court, the trial court sent him to a two-day of police custody for interrogation.
Although during the special session, TDP members were able to raise the issue in both Houses of Parliament, with just three members in the Lok Sabha and a single member in the Rajya Sabha it couldn’t have the desired impact.
“The BJP leadership was quite busy with the introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament. We tried to seek an appointment with the Union home minister to apprise him about the matter but it didn’t materialise,” rued a senior TDP leader.
It may be noted here that although state BJP president D Purandeswari condemned the arrest, there has not been even a murmur from the Central BJP leadership on the incarceration of Naidu, who had once enjoyed immense clout in the first NDA government under AB Vajpayee. He could even force the Vajpayee government to declare early polls to coincide with the elections in unified Andhra Pradesh hoping to ride on a sympathy wave after surviving a Naxalite attack.
However, the relations between the two political entities soured after Naidu quit the NDA for denying special status to Andhra Pradesh. Although right after the 2019 elections, Naidu has been waxing eloquent on the BJP, it saffron party has not yet made up its mind to let go of the grouse against it ally. What’s all the more disheartening for the TDP is the speculation that the Central BJP leadership had prior information about Naidu’s arrest.
Hence, the party has no option but to bank on the Supreme Court for relief from the remand on the grounds that the state government has not taken the sanction of the governor prior to the arrest of the former chief minister. TDP general secretary and Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh is currently in Delhi to oversee the legal battle to secure Naidu’s release.
Meanwhile, the Rashtrapati Bhavan has directed Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary KS Jawhar Reddy to take action against hateful posts on social media against judge of the Anti Corruption Bureau court Satya Venkata Hima Bindu who had ordered judicial remand for TDP president N Chandrababu.
A complaint was filed by a practicing advocate of Andhra Pradesh High Court Ramanuja Rao who said the moment the judge delivered the judgment, abusers started circulating memes and other “vulgar, sexist and racist” material online insinuating her links to a particular political party. Rashtrapati Bhavan Secretary PC Meena wrote a letter to the chief secretary asking him to take appropriate action.