TDP should heed poll verdict against Vendetta politics

If the cycle of vengeance goes on, it is democracy that will suffer.
Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.(Photo | Prasant Madugula)

Even as Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was holding meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Union ministers in New Delhi on Thursday, the Andhra Pradesh High Court directed his government not to proceed with the demolition of opposition YSR Congress’s offices “unless overwhelming public interest is involved” and if the alleged deviations in their construction are “minor in nature and curable”. It can be termed a setback for the government that was seeking to bulldoze the opposition’s offices in several districts. The actions were clearly contradictory to Naidu’s declaration following his massive mandate that there was no question of vendetta politics.

Unfortunately, using law enforcement agencies has become a favourite option of those in power. It’s true that the TDP and its chief Naidu, too, had to bear the brunt of the previous YSRC government’s fury—several of its leaders including Naidu himself were jailed or hounded on different cases. The party’s office was attacked. Then former Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party was reduced to just 11 seats in the 175-member assembly. This in itself shows that the people have rejected vendetta politics. However, soon after assuming the mantle, we saw TDP cadre and a few leaders baying for YSRC’s blood.

The party’s under-construction office at Tadepalli in Guntur district was razed and notices were served on its offices in a few districts. The government justifies its action by pointing at irregularities and illegalities in construction. It has the authority to proceed following ‘due procedure’ prescribed by the court. Back to 2019, too, Jagan had begun his CM’s tenure by dismantling the Praja Vedika, a government complex, on the ground that it was illegal. The actions of Jagan and Naidu are eerily similar on this—the difference is one of degree, not of kind.

If this cycle of vengeance goes on, it is democracy that will suffer. People have elected the NDA in the state believing in its vision. The Naidu government owes it to the people to work towards it. The YSRC, demoralised by the verdict, is in no position to fight for itself, forget about public issues. Naidu has an excellent opportunity to show statesmanship, more so as he has a key role at the Centre too. It will be a tragedy if, instead, he prefers to stick to the beaten track.

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