Monday, 3 March 2008

Murky Politics: Babu rubs shoulders with BJP leaders

March 3, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 2: Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday rubbed shoulders with BJP leaders for the first time in four years after he dumped the BJP as a "communal" party pursuing a "dangerous cause".
Chandrababu Naidu also mobilised the support of the Left parties as well as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi for the Telugu Desam's maha dharna against "sale" of lands by the Congress government. The TD supremo shared the common dais with BJP State president Bandaru Dattatreya, CPI State secretary K Narayana, CPM senior leader YV
Rao and TRS official spokesperson V Prakash. They were together for more than four hours criticising Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy one after another.
The mobilisation of support of the Left and the BJP by the Telugu Desam gains political significance as the State Assembly elections are just 13 months away. Soon after the Assembly and the Lok Sabha elections in May 2004, Chandrababu Naidu cut off political and electoral relations with the BJP. A few months before the May 2004
polls, the Left parties deserted the Telugu Desam to join hands with the Congress.
Now that the Congress leadership including the chief minister has jumped into election mode, Chandrababu Naidu has been devising ways to come closer to the Left. With no positive signs coming from the Communists, he has now involved the BJP too in his campaign against the Congress.
"We have come together despite ideological differences for the cause of the poor. The Congress government sold away 30,000 acres of prime land in and around Hyderabad in the last four years. We will take back the lands sold by the government to industrialist and the rich. We will distribute them among the poor after we come to power in 2009," Chandrababu Naidu said.
Later Chandrababu Naidu along with Dattatreya signed a "declaration" warning that after they come to power they would take back lands sold by the Congress regime.
The sharing of dais by the Communists and the BJP is not unexpected.
Chandrababu Naidu personally coordinated the dharna and informed the two ideologically opposed political parties to share the platform "for the sake of people".
"We know that the BJP is participating. But it is issue-based. Whenever some major public issue crops up, we do not hesitate to share the platform with other political parties," YV Rao said.

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