Andhra Pradesh

Naidu to form ‘shadow cabinet’ to track new regime’s working

TDP national president N. Chandrababu Naidu, however, is yet to formulate guidelines for the shadow cabinet.

TDP national president N. Chandrababu Naidu, however, is yet to formulate guidelines for the shadow cabinet.  

Also, an ‘effective counter’ to take on the YSRCP government’s reviewing of the policies and deals during the TDP rule

It is a leaf out of the Westminster system of government. Perhaps also a first in the undivided Andhra Pradesh and now in the residuary State.

Former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president N. Chandrababu Naidu is forming a ‘shadow cabinet’ to keep a close watch on the new government’s working.

Its unstated purpose, however, is also to take on the YSR Congress-led government, as the latter is making swift moves to corner the TDP on its decisions and policies during the last five years. Under this, each ‘shadow minister’ would closely follow a minister and a department, and prepare reports on the its policies and developments on a regular basis.

Strategic move

Mr. Naidu, however, is yet to formulate guidelines for ‘shadow cabinet’. At a recent meeting with senior leaders, he said they would have to keep close tabs on their corresponding ministers, develop alternative policies and hold the government to account for its actions.

The broad idea is that the TDP would have to play a “proactive role” in the light of some unmindful and retrogressive decisions of the new government.

“There are many issues and the State government’s decisions that need to be highlighted in the House (Assembly/Council) as well as outside. Hence, the shadow cabinet,” said a senior leader, requesting anonymity.

Role of Opposition

The idea of ‘shadow cabinet’ came after the TDP was trounced in the recent elections. It managed to bag just 23 Assembly and three Lok Sabha seats. Also, the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government is on reviewing spree of agreements, payments made to contractors, etc. during the TDP rule. The power purchase agreements are under scrutiny. The government even pulled down Praja Vedika, terming it an illegal construction. The Law and Order situation with more than 130 incidents, including six political murders in just one month is in a poor shape. So, the need for an effective counter from the TDP has necessitated the ‘shadow cabinet’. “The TDP would play a role of strong Opposition. We would not allow this government to take walk-over in future,” says a senior leader. The main setback for Mr. Naidu was many of his former Cabinet colleagues, except K. Atchannaidu, N. Chinarajappa, and Ganta Srinivasa Rao, were defeated.

Not a new concept

In fact the concept of ‘shadow cabinet’ is not new to India. The first such cabinet was formed in Maharashtra in 2005 by the BJP and Shiv Sena when late Vilasrao Deshmukh of the Congress was the CM. The Congress had one in Madhya Pradesh in 2014, while the non-government organisation, Gen Next, formed a shadow cabinet in Goa in 2015.

The BJP announced one such cabinet after defeat in Delhi in 2013.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 8:04:47 PM |

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