27th September 2005
Since 2005's Congress win in AP, I have been reading a bit more on the political scenario in Andhra Pradesh, and definitely in the past few days keeping a watch on the municipal election campaign and aftermath. It is no surprise that Dr. Reddy and Congress did well. Before I delve into the big win, what I thought was a masterstroke was two things that caught my attention after Congress winning the election:
1. Sonia Gandhi visiting the rain drenched areas of Andhra Pradesh, that too day after Congress winning the municipal elections.
2. All Congressmen including Dr. Reddy simply expressing the Telangana issue is put in front of Sonia Gandhi and Mrs. Gandhi will deal with the issue in Delhi.
I thought both were masterstrokes, which too after the big win in the elections. Sonia did not visit Rayalaseema in the trip, just visited the past stronghold of TDP. Imagine the big wins Congress got this election, and the day after Sonia visits the flood effected areas. There will be a definitive on central funding coming to Andhra Pradesh as relief, no doubt along with the goodwill Mrs. Gandhi brings to the region it just voted Congress in. If Dr. Reddy can plan such master strategies with people and strategy, then he will be elected CM for long time to come.
The two major issues that also were negative to the opposition were:
1. TRS continuing to enjoy the central ministry positions with Congress cabinet, while criticizing the party, its leaders and everything else in the State. What did they think? People were sleeping or unable to understand Telugu? The biggest farce in the world is trying t get the best of both worlds, and TRS leaders tried this very hard and as with anyone else trying to burn both ends of a candle they also did. How can politicians have such personal ambition publicly displayed, and not think of the needs of people they represent? What happened to the cause of people of Telangana? Who was representing the people? What was the message? Lot of questions form me to these guys, and I am sure people they were speaking to did not even bother to listen. They just used their democratic vote to spell out their needs to the party they believe will help with their needs. I think Congress was already listening to the people, and not listening to the TRS rhetoric.
2. TDP, I think simply was lost. I believe that expression of continued anger everyday in public, and not having a single issue that identifies with the needs of the people of the state is their issue. I have yet to hear a TDP leader express a view without blaming Congress for everything they can think of, and many times families and friends included. I think next time they fight elections they should put a manifesto to talk of the needs of the people. What is worse is the no remorse, after election comments of the so-called leaders of the party. Actually what leaders, any way if they cant win any votes, and still talk of nonsense after losing so badly. Why can't they simply say we lost because we are lost? They are actually lost for actions, words and deeds. They not only behave badly in front of the media but simply are bad politicians, bad leaders and just badly behaved. NTR would be ashamed of these guys.
The just concluded local elections really were quite peaceful I think, except the exasperated comments of TRS leaders and continued scam finds of Mr. Naidu. Both parties fared terribly by simply not focusing on the people's issues, but trying to blame every conceivable thing on Congress and Dr. Reddy. People of AP are very smart and have heard the rhetoric before.
Last season we had good rains, and this season floods. I always thought rains bring prosperity, and too much rain may not be too bad for the State (actually it is much better than not having rains). Congress seems to focus on water projects and I sincerely hope they bring them to life quickly. Harnessing the water in the State will make it a great place to live and work, relieve the farmer's woe. The opposition to the many planned water projects should weaken now. Any development of irrigation, irrespective of the region should help the overall state affairs.
Congress must heed to the voices of the people of Telangana. The region is rich with great industry and has great river resources. Godavari flowing at a 25 year high is a great example of a natural resource that can bring great prosperity and jobs by planned water management. Congress should act quickly to meet the needs of people of Telangana. They should look at all districts and regions and peoples issues, while they meet the needs of the people of Telangana. I would like to underline that they should meet the needs of the people not the demands of politicians. This current election clearly shows that the opposition parties are far from realizing the needs of the people, and people are very smart to separate the political rhetoric and political reality.
I also like the after election comments from Dr. Reddy's (I think they are polite) that Mr. Naidu should stop coming up with scams that don't exist, but work on a constructive legislative agenda. I also like the olive branch he extended to TRS that where necessary they would coexist. To send such political messages are masterful I think.
When you win and that too convincingly, it is wonderful to extend good messages both politically and personally. There is no more self-glorification necessary after you kick you opponents to the ground. Dr. Reddy' past aggressive behavior has been becoming model politician's behavior now a days. I also liked the fact he personally did not campaign while the two major opponents campaigned hard for their parties. Perhaps they all should learn from restraint and politeness.
Well, Congress is still the party of Gandhi and Nehru, more so today of Rajiv and Sonia and perhaps a lot of Man Mohan Singh's reforms thrown in. Dr. Reddy and Congress can bring much needed peace and prosperity to the state. Last year when I wrote in support Factionalists (Dr. Reddy) and Foreigners (Mrs. Gandhi), many people wrote back negatively, and did not agree that Dr. Reddy and Mrs. Gandhi would be any good for the state and the country. I thought they could do well for us, and with the new election and time in the office I continue to believe that congress will do well for the state and country.
Stable politics and sustained growth will go hand in hand and while I hold no political affiliations to any party, I wish the current government would focus on the needs of our people. Political reality is that the politicians who deliver to the needs of the people will continue to get the mandate, irrespective of the party. Realistic and forward going policies and practical implementation of programs will help to meet the needs of the people and also keep political parties in power. Better water, better education, better transportation, better power, better communications and better politics, is all I hope for us.