TDP’s move to offer Deputy CM posts to BCs and Kapus takes political circles by surprise

Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s announcement of offering two posts of Deputy Chief Minister – one for a person hailing from the Backward Classes and another to a Kapu candidate – in the new State of Andhra Pradesh has taken the political circles by surprise.

The announcement comes at a time when Mr. Naidu drew flak from other parties for remaining non-committal on the choice of a BC candidate for the top post after announcing the candidature of BC Welfare Association president R. Krishnaiah as Chief Minister of Telangana.

Major political parties, including the YSR Congress and the CPI (Marxist), accused him of lacking sincerity in implementing his promise.

Intentions questioned

The CPI (M) went ahead to question Mr. Naidu’s intentions when it asked as to why the TDP president was not willing to offer the post to a BC/Kapu in the Seemandhra region if he was committed to the assurance.

The Kapu community, constituting a major chunk in the Seemandhra region, is currently divided between the Congress and Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSRC and the votes, if cast en bloc, could be the deciding factor for the victory/loss of the candidate.

Political parties are describing the announcement as a “political ploy” and a reflection of the TDP chief’s level of desperation. The move was yet another attempt by the TDP president to rope in communities, the Kapu community in particular.

The earlier instance was Mr. Naidu’s readiness to rope in film actor-turned politician Pawan Kalyan to campaign for the TDP-BJP combine with an eye on tilting at least some percentage of the Kapu vote in their favour.

Coming as it does at the fag end of the campaign in the Seemandhra region, the move is seen as a desperate attempt by Mr. Naidu to reach the halfway mark.

TDP senior leaders, however, claimed that the promise was a well calculated one. “TDP founder late N.T. Rama Rao laid emphasis on delegation and decentralisation of power. This prompted people hitherto left out of political power to join the TDP,” a RS member told The Hindu.