AP CM Chandrababu Naidu has brought enormous pressure on the BJP state leaders by criticising the Centre for what he described as its total indifference to the cause of providing financial assistance to Titli cyclone victims in Srikakulam district.
Usually, in times of such huge destruction, a Central team of officials will visit immediately to assess damage and to recommend for release of necessary funds for supporting urgent relief operations.
In the case of Titli, no such officials team visited Srikakulam so far unlike in recent instance of Kerala heavy floods when Modi government rushed all sorts of immediate help. This forced Chandrababu Naidu to launch a full-fledged attack, repeatedly questioning this discriminatory attitude against AP people’s interests. He stepped up his attack, demanding even national calamity status to Titli.
Following this, AP BJP leaders are not able to come out with a strong counter to Naidu attacks. They have gone into a weak defensive mode, saying TDP is spreading false information that there is no help from Modi government. A Central team will visit Srikakulam soon and, because of this, there may be some delay in release of funds but Centre will not altogether deny assistance, say BJP leaders.
They accused Naidu of politicising even cyclone damage with an eye on vote banks. Here, BJP leaders are missing one point that is to be always prepared to counter criticism by rival leaders with valid arguments and factual information. The BJP leaders should have communicated to their Central leadership the need for providing urgent assistance to Srikakulam in order to prevent TDP from making any allegations.
Coming as it does ahead of election season, Naidu will certainly make Titli issue also one of the main election planks in 2019 elections. BJP is already losing ground level support. Any more mistakes will lead to total erosion of its minuscule vote bank.