April 20, 2005
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 19: In a reversal of his avowed philosophy to keep students away from politics, former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday announced the formation of a student wing of the Telugu Desam to "cleanse" murky politics in the State.
The Telugu Nadu Students' Federation, the official students' wing of the Telugu Desam, will be in place in all universities and colleges by June 1, well ahead of the start of the next academic session. The TNSF will have student committees in all major educational institutions in the State to serve as a "back-up" political force for the parent Telugu Desam.
Donning the role of a professor of politics, Chandrababu Naidu took a class of about 1000 students at NTR Bhavan, reminding them of them their "political responsibilities" and teaching them how to stop ragging on campuses and fighting against murky politics. He also taught them how they should behave with co-students and wage a war against social evils.
Chandrababu Naidu, right from the day he took over as the chief minister on September 1, 1995, had been against students joining politics or playing an active role in political parties. His argument then was that politics will destroy the bright career of students. Now that he is out of power, Chandrababu Naidu has realised the importance of "student force" for a political party to strengthen its base.
The result is the reincarnation of the Telugu Vidyarthi, which Chandrababu Naidu scrapped about nine years ago, in the form of Telugu Nadu Students Federation. Chandrababu Naidu's TNSF will now take by horns the CPI's AISF, CPM's SFI and Congress' NSUI both inside and outside the campus.
Though Chandrababu Naidu himself was a student leader in his college and university life, he never encouraged students from taking to politics. According to NTR Bhavan sources, the sudden U turn in Chandrababu Naidu's political philosophy is the threat of civic body elections. Chandrababu Naidu's internal party assessment shows that the TD is going to fare badly in municipal polls and hence he is playing the student card well in advance of the hustings, a senior TD leader told this correspondent.
The next 12 months are crucial for the Telugu Desam as the party has to get ready for civic body polls in September and local body elections in June 2006. The political game plan of the Telugu Desam is to train students, particularly those of universities and professional colleges, and use them as a political force to boost its electoral politics.
The Telugu Desam has 11 affiliated organisations and the TNSF is the 12th in the line.
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