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Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India

Professor Nageshwar — Who should form the Government in a hung Assembly?


If a majority of elected MLAs formed a coalition, the governor would be constitutionally right to invite the leader of the majority coalition to form the government and prove their majority within a short period.

The Supreme Court upheld this position in March 2017 while disposing the petition by the leader of the congress legislature party contesting Governor’s decision to invite leader of the BJP led post poll coalition. Even top lawyer and BJP leader, Arun Jaitley also made a similar argument at the time of formation of Goa government.

There are many precedents to this effect.

  • 1. In the elections to the Goa Assembly in March 2017, which has a strength of 40, the Congress won 17 while the BJP won 13. The BJP, however, was invited to form the government after a post-election coalition with other parties.
  • 2. Manipur Assembly elections in 2017, which has a strength of 60, Congress had won 28 and BJP won 21 seats. But BJP was asked to form the government on the basis of a post-poll arrangement.
  • 3. In the elections to Meghalaya Assembly in March 2018, out of the total strength of 60, Congress had 21 while the BJP had only 2. The BJP, however, was invited to form the government by the Governor on the basis of a post-poll arrangement which showed a majority.
  • 4. The BJP winning 30 out of 81 seats in Jharkhand and JMM leader Shri Shibu Soren with a support of 17 MLAs of his party plus others was invited to form the government.
  • 5. In 2002 in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference had 28 MLAs but the governor invited the PDP and Congress combination of 15 + 21 MLAs to form the government.
  • 6. In 2013, the BJP won 31 seats in Delhi, but the AAP with 28 MLAs with support of Congress was invited to form the government.

Jaitley also added that similar precedents had been set in 1952 in Madras, 1967 in Rajasthan and 1982 in Haryana.

The question of single largest party versus a combine with majority support had been settled by former president Shri KR Narayanan in his communiqué in March 1998 when he invited Atal Bihari Vajpayee to form the government.

“The president had said “when no party or pre-election alliance of parties is in a clear majority, the Head of State has in India or elsewhere, given the first opportunity to the leader of the party or combination of parties that has won largest number of seats subject to the prime minister so appointed obtaining majority support on the floor of the House within a stipulated time. This procedure is not, however, all time formula because situations can arise where MPs not belonging to the single largest party or combination can, as a collective entity, out-number the single largest claimant. The president’s choice of prime minister is pivoted on the would be prime minister’s claim of commanding majority support”.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )
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Prof K Nageshwar — Why did Vote for Note case suddenly resurface?

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Nothing happens in politics without any reason. Suddenly, the Telangana chief minister ordered expediting of the case related to vote for note in which Andhra Pradesh chief minister , N Chandrababu Naidu faces allegations.

The case has been pending for long without any significant progress. In fact, it is not such a complex case that demands such a long investigation. The case refused to inch ahead as long as TDP was part of BJP led NDA . The case suddenly reappears as Chandrababu Naidu declares an unrelenting war on Narendra Modi on the special status issue.

In fact, the Andhra Pradesh BJP leaders have been openly stating that Naidu has to face cases for his alleged misdeeds. The vote for note case resurfacing against these open threat hurled out by BJP leaders assumes importance.

When this case came to notice, there has been war of words between TDP and TRS and even Chandrababu Naidu and KCR engaged in a bitter contestation. Even God cannot save Naidu, asserted the Telangana chief Minister and the home minister. But , nothing happened all these years. Naidu almost retreated from Telangana politics much to the advantage of TRS .

But, sudden resurfacing of this case certainly strengthens the apprehension that KCR government has reopened the case only at the instance of Narendra Modi who maybe hell bent on running after Chandrababu after he exposed his government’s indifference to the promises made to residuary state of Andhra Pradesh.

Even, nothing perhaps will happen. Only the process is the punishment. The political blame game will continue. All these parties are indulging in engineering defections in the rival parties. Both the TRS and TDP did the same . Even the BJP has done it in other states. The congress was the author of the defections. Defection of MLAs from opposition to the ruling party does not happen out of charity. But, as long as luring of MLA s is a clandestine operation, it is legal. It becomes illegal only if one is caught by the law. Therefore, the vote for note is not an issue for any party to take a high moral ground as all are part of this dirty game.

All these major parties violate the anti defection law in the tenth schedule of the Constitution of India with all impunity .

Defectors were made ministers in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with the latter having a higher share of turn coats in the state cabinet.

The manner in which the central agencies are after the opposition leaders and ignoring the allies of BJP raises further suspicion over the vote for note case resurfacing now.

The central agencies are after Lalu Prasad Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal. But , nothing happens in case against Nitish Kumar or in the Vyapam scam in the BJP ruled state. As BJP hopes to ally even with DMK if need arises, the court could not find anything in the 2G Case which Narendra Modi used to come to power in 2014.

Therefore, the review and resurfacing of vote for note case is not a routine administrative matter. It is an attempt to bully Chandrababu Naidu. Of course this is not to deny that no such ‘vote for note’ happened.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

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Prof Nageshwar on YSR Congress BJP Nexus allegations

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Chandrababu Naidu has yet again accused the opposition YSR Congress of having a clandestine deal with the BJP. Naidu has also alleged that Modi-Shah led BJP is using YS Jagan to hatch a conspiracy against him.

Such allegations are not uncommon in politics. It is difficult to conclusively establish any backdoor dealings. But, the political behaviour of YSR congress is certainly providing ammunition to TDP to level such allegations against it.

  • 1. The struggle of YSR Congress for special status is primarily focussed on Chandrababu Naidu betraying people of Andhra Pradesh rather than Modi reneging on his promises to state. The high decibel attack on Naidu eclipses the low-key criticism on BJP.
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  • 2.The unconditional support of YSR Congress to NDA nominees in both Presidential and Vice Presidential elections despite the presence of its arch rival, the TDP in the BJP led combine raises serious questions over YS Jagan’s approach towards BJP. The YSR Congress should have insisted on something for Andhra Pradesh to extend support for NDA nominees.
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  • 3. During the last four years of NDA rule, the YSR congress was not part of any joint opposition initiative inside and outside Parliament. This attitude indirectly strengthens the ruling NDA regime.
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  • 4. YS Jagan has been silent on the controversial decisions of Modi government like demonetisation, GST, petroleum prices, cow vigilantism, minority bashing etc.
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  • 5. Giving further credence to the allegations of TDP, a section of BJP leaders even while in alliance with TDP were making serious corruption allegations against Chandrababu Naidu government and conspicuously silent over YS Jagan.
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  • 6. The statements by BJP and NDA leaders after TDP walked out of NDA strengthens the speculation that YSR Congress could be a post poll ally of BJP.
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  • 7. The YSR Congress still states that it will support any ruling combination at the centre if it is ready to accord special status for Andhra Pradesh post 2019. But, such general statement even after BJP unambiguously stating that special status is not possible does not carry any legitimacy. Instead, YS Jagan should have categorically said that he would support any non-BJP combination in 2019 as the BJP has already rejected the special status demand.
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  • 8. The TDP has appealed to Karnataka voters to defeat BJP. The TRS at least extended support to Janata Dal (S), a non-Congress, non-BJP contestant at least for now. But, YSR congress remained neutral. Such a non-committal stand towards BJP at a time the saffron party is engaged in a do or die battle in Karnataka which has a sizable presence of telugu voters is unacceptable even when Modi government is incurring the wrath of people of Andhra Pradesh.
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  • 9. The YSR Congress MPs resigned from Parliament. But, there is no attempt to get their resignations accepted or no criticism on the authorities concerned for not accepting their resignations. It may be recalled that during Telangana movement, legislators staged protests in Speaker’s chamber to get their resignations accepted.
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  • 10. The central investigating agencies are very active against opposition leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal. But, the prospective ally, the DMK could come out of 2G case due to prosecutions failure to establish evidence. The CBI is silent over the cases against Nitish Kumar. The BJP leaders are openly stating that central agencies do not spare Chandrababu Naidu’s corruption despite being ‘partners in crime’ for four years. But, the central agencies are not showing similar pace when it comes to corruption charges against YS Jagan. No BJP leader is seen commenting on allegations against YS Jagan.

The YSR Congress is certainly able to expose Chandrababu Naidu’s vacillation on special status and his politics over it. But, it fails to convince the people on the strange relations it enjoys with BJP.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

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Prof K Nageshwar — Move to Impeach Chief Justice is in defence of Independent Judiciary

Vice-President and Rajya Sabha chairman rejected the impeachment motion moved by 64 members of the house on the ground that it is an attack on independence of judiciary.

But, the impeachment motion moved by opposition parties is an inevitable attempt to resolve the serious issues raised by four senior most judges. The Constitution allows for such a parliamentary scrutiny when things in judiciary go wrong. The separation of powers envisaged in the Constitution and interpreted as basic structure by the apex court calls for inter-relationship between legislature, judiciary and executive.

The fundamental issue raised by the four judges is that Chief Justice is the Master of the Roster in the Supreme court. But, he or she cannot exercise this in an arbitrary manner contrary to the established traditions. Such lack of impartiality and transparency is a matter of grave concern. The way benches were constituted, and cases allotted to them ignoring the seniority of the judges without citing any reasons for doing so that too in regard to important cases having political significance certainly raise serious questions over the functioning of highest court of India.

The issues flagged off by the members of the Supreme Court collegium are not personal in nature, but have a lot to do with integrity, transparency and credibility of the highest judicial institution. The Supreme Court was expected to resolve its own issues, but, weeks after the alarm bells were rung by sitting judges, which is unprecedented in the history of Indian Judiciary, the Chief Justice failed to take any initiative whatsoever. Instead, the practices questioned by the senior judges are continued.

The ideal way is that such issues should be resolved through a process of internal dialogue within the judiciary. For reasons not known to us, this did not happen. The only option left, therefore, is to call for parliamentary scrutiny and the only method left is through an impeachment motion.

Parliament, as per the Constitution, cannot discuss issues internal to judiciary as courts cannot adjudicate on parliamentary proceedings, except on the grounds of substantial illegality. Therefore, no pillar of democracy is immune to constitutional scrutiny. Under the constitutional scheme of things, the only way out in the given context is to move an impeachment motion which does not automatically lead to removal of any judge. In fact, the present Chief Justice may retire much before the impeachment motion is processed. However, it is imperative for the Parliament to take up such a motion as it cannot be seen as an attack on individual, but an attempt to ensure independence of judiciary.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

Contrary to the arguments of the critics that this is targeting of Chief Justice personally, the impeachment is aimed at correcting systemic flaws as independence of judiciary is non-negotiable.

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Naidu sitting on fast demanding special status: Five questions he needs to answer

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Chandrababu Naidu sat on fast on Friday. Five questions he needs to answer. First, Naidu criticised opposition and civil society groups for organising protests in Andhra Pradesh. He, instead advised them to protest in Delhi to exert pressure on the centre. But, why did he protest in the state? Can there be one rule for him and another for others. In fact, if Chandrababu Naidu sits on hunger strike in New Delhi , he would have attracted national attention. Given his stature in national politics, many leaders of various parties would have expressed solidarity to the cause he has been espousing. National media would have evinced much greater attention as it is a rare political spectacle to see a chief Minister of state protesting against centre by staging a hunger strike in the national capital. If someone else has protested in Delhi as Naidu advised , it would have been a non event. Yet , Naidu advised others to protest in Delhi while he chose to sit on fast in Vijayawada.

The entire event was choreographed to project the image of Chandrababu Naidu as someone who uncompromisingly fights for the rights of Andhra Pradesh. Such an image management is obvious . But, this exercise has actually clouded the very demand for which the protest was organised.

Second, he and his party refused to support protest sponsored by opposition parties or civil society groups but, now he wants everyone to rally behind him. More recently, when some opposition parties and civil society groups called for state bandh on April, 16, the government was not forthcoming in extending its support. In fact, there were instances of police issuing notices to the protestors . But, no such police restrictions apply when leaders of government and the ruling party organise protests. The democratic rights cannot be different for people in power . In fact, during the earlier bandh too even when the other opposition parties supported the bandh call given by the Left parties, the ruling TDP was not forthcoming.

Third, Chandrababu Naidu government came down heavily on opposition sponsored bandhs and protests. Cases were filed on the protesters. The government which has lifted cases on the ruling party politicians is yet to withdraw the cases filed on those who protested for the special status. It would have been a more credible exercise if Chandrababu Naidu government has withdrawn all such cases before the chief minister presided over a day long protests across the state.

Fourth, the chief minister publicly castigated that the bandh observed on April 16 caused a loss to state exchequer crores of rupees. But, now the government machinery made every arrangement for the protest led by chief minister and his cabinet colleagues. Such double standards cannot be expected from the ruling party when it too sympathises with the cause for which the bandh and many other protests were organised earlier. The government has softened its stand to an extent only when the TDP walked out of the NDA . In fact, Chandrababu Naidu advised people to launch Japanese style novel protests by working for more time than stipulated to express dissent over the Centres attitude towards the state. He described all such protests as detrimental to the development of state. But, now, Naidu refused to follow Japanese style and went on day long hunger strike and the entire government machinery came to a grinding halt to make this programme a success.

Finally, Chandrababu Naidu earlier disowned the demand for special status and called it a closed chapter. Should he not apologise for taking such a unilateral stand before sitting on a fast to demand special status.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

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Prof K Nageshwar — Behind the change of guard in Andhra Pradesh BJP


Close on the heels of divorce between BJP and the TDP, the change of guard in Andhra Pradesh BJP is taking place. This cannot be an accidental coincidence. The change is integral to the strategic shift in saffron politics in the state.

Kambhampati Hari Babu, not just mild mannered and soft spoken is seen to be not hostile to relations with TDP.

In fact, Andhra Pradesh BJP was always a divided house . A section led by K Hari Babu that includes Kamineni Srinivas etc. were more than friendly to TDP and especially to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Even when the TDP leadership took a strident anti Modi position, this group was never virulent in t its opposition towards Naidu and his party . Even Hari Babu barring few statements and press conferences which he has to do as a party state chief was never vehemently critical of Naidu ‘s dispensation or his politics .

This group close to Chandrababu Naidu had the blessings of senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu. Even the party top leadership could not bypass Venkaiah Naidu . But, with Venkaiah Naidu assuming a Constitutional office and retiring from active politics, the anti Naidu group within the state BJP was on the ascent. This group got further emboldened as TDP-BJP parted ways.

Leaders like Somu Veerraju were always hostile to TDP and Chandrababu Naidu. This group has been calling Naidu government corrupt even before TDP broke its ties with BJP.

Quite interestingly, there seems to be a caste angle in the intra party differences within the BJP. The leaders belonging to a particular caste that is largely loyal to TDP was friendly towards Naidu whereas Kapu leaders always questioned their ally . Reports now indicate that BJP chief Amit Shah is looking for a Kapu leader to replace Hari Babu.

The BJP all India leadership is certain to appoint someone who does not spare Chandrababu Naidu. Besides, the party is planning to use this opportunity to indulge in social engineering . Kapus were not so sympathetic to TDP in the past. But, in 2014, Kapus voted largely for TDP evident from the fact that Naidu’s party won considerable number of seats in the Kapu dominated areas. Promise of Kapu quota, support of Pawan Kalyan to TDP-BJP combine, disillusionment with Chiranjeevi merging Praja Rajyam with Congress led the shift of Kapu vote towards TDP.

But, the BJP believes that Kapus are disenchanted with Chandrababu Naidu for his failure to give quota to the community which was it’s long pending demand . The TDP’s explanation that it has done its bit and the ball is now in centre’s court cuts no ice with Kapu voters, believes BJP leadership .

The BJP is likely to appoint someone who is articulating and unsparing in his criticism towards TDP and perhaps, a leader from Kapu community that shall help in social engineering for electoral purpose. The BJP has been doing this in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat etc.

The BJP is also expected to extend a hand of friendship to the opposition YSR Congress. The bonhomie between YSR Congress and the BJP was more than evident. YS Jagan hardly targets Modi and devotes his entire energies on TDP even on the special status issue. Similarly despite opposing the ruling NDA in the state, the YSR Congress extended unconditional support to NDA nominees in presidential and vice Presidential elections. In return, the BJP leaders never criticised YS Jagan even when they were critical of a chief minister whom the party supports .

The BJP’s Andhra Pradesh operations begins with the appointment of new party state chief. The leader the party chooses will provide an inkling of party’s electoral strategy for the state of Andhra Pradesh in 2019 and beyond.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

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Prof K Nageshwar — Telugus Anger likely to Hit BJP in Karnataka


Telugu people have a sizable presence in neighbouring states for a host of reasons. The parts of Karnataka which were earlier part of Hyderabad state has sizable presence o f Telugu people. This region is still called Hyderabad-Karnataka . Hyderabad–Karnataka is the name given to north-east Karnataka . It is the Kannada-speaking part of the Hyderabad State, that was ruled by the Nizams of Hyderabad until 1948. After merging with the Indian union, the region was part of Hyderabad State until 1956. The Hyderabad Karnataka/Northeast Karnataka region comprises Bidar, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal and Gulbarga of Hyderabad state and, Bellary of Madras state that are in the present state of Karnataka.

As the erstwhile Andhra state was part of the composite state of Madras, a large number of telugu speaking people remained in Madras state now called Tamil Nadu . Similarly, there is a sizable population of telugu speaking people in neighbouring Odisha who migrated from North Coastal Andhra . Besides, thanks to the growth of information technology in Bangalore which is considered as the silicon valley of India , a large section of telugus live in the capital city of Karnataka .
There has been a migration of agricultural communities from telugu regions to several districts of Karnataka like Gangavathi .

However, telugus living in the neighbouring states never nursed linguistic regional political aspirations and became integral part of social and political life of those states.

But, the blatant denial of special status to Andhra Pradesh and the two telugu regional parties in power and even the opposition taking a strident anti BJP positions, telugus started getting alienated from the saffron party . This is likely to prove costlier for the Modi brigade in the ensuing Karnataka elections.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) which recently withdrew from the BJP-led NDA alliance at the Centre urged Telugu voters in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, to vote for anybody but not the BJP.

Addressing media in Bangalore , Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister KE Krishna Murthy, said that Telugu people in the southern states, especially in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu should vote against the BJP because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has refused to accord Special Category Status (SCS) to the state.

Meanwhile, the TRS chief and Telangana chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao urged the telugu people in Karnataka to vote for Janata Dal (S). Though this call is interpreted as harming the chances of congress, it still cannot be considered as an endorsement of BJP. Thus, the appeal of both TDP and TRS to the telugu voters in Karnataka is certainly hostile to BJP .

The TDP has a significant support base among the Kammas, who are estimated to be a deciding factor in at least 12 Assembly constituencies in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region in the ensuing election. These Telugu-speaking voters, mostly farmers hailing from Andhra Pradesh, migrated to the neighbouring Karnataka over 50 years ago, setting up over 1,000 camps in Bellary, Koppal, Yadgir, Raichur, and Kalaburgi districts of the state.

The Akhil Karnataka Kammawari Sangham reportedly claimed that their population in Karnataka could be nearly about 35 lakh, with three to five lakhs concentrated in the Hyderabad-Karnataka border region. In Bellary Rural Assembly segment, 30,000 voters belong to this community. Their votes could also be decisive in the Assembly constituencies in Koppal, Gangavathi, Kampli, Shiraguppa, Manvi, Raichur, Sindhanoor, and Yadgir districts.

The opinion leaders among telugu community living in Karnataka have already started a social media campaign exposing the BJP for denying special status to Andhra Pradesh.

The supporters of TDP are loyal to the party even when they live in far away continents . It is obvious that those who live in the neighbouring states are emotionally connected with their home state of Andhra Pradesh.

According to media reports, BJP is planning to field the two brothers of Gali Janardhana Reddy , the Bellary mining baron , Karunakara and Somashekhara from Harapanahalli and Bellary City in a bid to compensate for the loss of telugu vote due to dissent over denial of special status. In 2008, the Reddy brothers, had helped the saffron party come to power for the first time in a southern state.

The BJP leadership is planning to field BJP leaders from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to campaign for the party in Karnataka. But, the absence of any influential telugu leader for the party after M Venkaiah Naidu became Vice President of India is a major handicap for the saffron party .

The MIM ‘s decision to not to contest Karnataka elections has further harmed the BJP’s chances. The MIM has a sizable influence among Muslim voters in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. The MIM stated that it has taken a decision to this effect to defeat BJP by avoiding a split in anti BJP vote.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

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KCR , Chandrababu, Jagan in Karnataka elections

KCR extended support to JD(S) in Karnataka elections. Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP appealed to Karnataka voters to vote for anyone who can defeat BJP. YS Jagan refrained from speaking on Karnataka elections.

In fact this is the first time regional political parties representing telugu people have shown interest in elections in neighbouring states though telugus have a sizeable presence in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Odisha. The divergent political stand taken by these three regional parties in regard to Karnataka elections is nothing to do with politics in poll bound state. But, it is a result of local political necessities. Never in the past, leaders of united Andhra Pradesh or the two successor states evinced keen interest in elections in neighbouring states. But, this time as the general elections are nearer, the leaders of telugu states would not like to leave the opportunity . By their stand in Karnataka elections , they would like to further their political interests in their respective home states . No regional party of either Andhra Pradesh or Telangana is contesting in Karnataka .

KCR met former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (S) leader, HD Deve Gowda and expressed his willingness to even campaign for the party in the ensuing elections in that state. As Janata Dal (S) is contesting independently and is pitted against both Congress and BJP, KCR saw in Deve Gowda a true ally for his federal front or people’s front. But, there is no guarantee that Janata Dal (S) would remain independent of either Congress or BJP . In the wake of a hung Assembly, the Janata Dal (S) is expected to be part of a coalition led by either Congress or BJP.

KCR does not want his anti BJP crusade to help Congress in any way as he is facing a bitter fight from that party in Telangana . Any victory of Congress in Karnataka would be a morale booster for the party. The congress is expected to gain power in BJP ruled states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. Any such favourable results in these states along with Karnataka win, would certainly create national mood against Modi that benefits Congress. KCR is wary of its impact on Telangana voters. This is precisely the reason why KCR wants to support Janata Dal (S) to frustrate the chances of Congress.

Meanwhile , Chandrababu Naidu would like to sell anti Modi narrative to voters of Andhra Pradesh in 2019. He could come back to power by effectively marketing anti Congress political narrative post bifurcation. Thus , Naidu is more keen to defeat BJP rather than Congress. Neither Congress nor BJP are challengers to TDP in Andhra Pradesh. Yet, Naidu wants to tell his voters that he is fighting BJP anywhere and everywhere for the injustice done to the state. Chandrababu Naidu’s outreach in Karnataka is a part of his perception management as someone who is uncompromising in his fight against BJP for denying what is due to Andhra Pradesh.

Even if the Congress wins Karnataka, its impact will not be there in Andhra Pradesh as the people of the state are not yet ready to forgive and forget Congress for what they believe to be an arbitrary bifurcation.

YS Jaganmohan Reddy seems to be uninterested in Karnataka polls as he does not find any political dividend in extending his campaign beyond the frontiers of the state . In fact, Jagan still fights with Chandrababu Naidu rather than Narendra Modi. Given his political priority to corner Naidu rather than BJP, Karnataka is certainly not in his agenda.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

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Prof Nageshwar – Is KCR’s federal front on the Back Burner

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Despite loud claims of forming a non-Congress , non-BJP Third Front , the Telangana chief minister and TRS supremo seems to be rethinking on the Third Front. His recent actions strengthen such speculation . Telangana kept itself away from the South Indian finance ministers meet convened by Kerala finance minister. This meet was aimed at expressing the concerns of South Indian states over the manner in which centre is allocating resources. The South Indian states are complaining that they will be losing heavily as the 15th Finance Commission is taking 2011 census as the basis instead of 1971 population data for formulating the scheme for central transfers to states.

The sources in Telangana government say that the state is not going to lose due to the terms of reference of 15th Finance Commission .

But, the TRS that vows to form a federal front cannot be oblivious to the concerns being expressed by other states. As KCR had put it , the most important policy agenda for such a federal front is to fight for radical restructuring of Centre-State financial relations. Though KCR may not agree with North-South divide, he could have sent his finance minister to Kerala meet at least to voice his version of fiscal federalism.

Therefore, there , perhaps , be much deeper reason for TRS government skipping the meet of the opposition sponsored South Indian meet. The AIADMK government also did not participate in the meeting. The AIADMK is an undeclared ally of BJP and has not supported the no confidence motion. Similarly, the TRS was ambiguous on its stand on no confidence motion . The TRS also joined AIADMK to create disorder in the house to facilitate the BJP to escape the scrutiny of Parliament through no confidence motion. However, as the criticism mounted, the TRs withdrew from its protests .

Meanwhile, the TRS supremo has also planned for a massive public meeting on the eve of the party plenary to unveil his federal front. Leaders of several regional parties and smaller parties that would be the constituents of such a third front were also expected to join the meeting. But, the latest reports indicate that such an exercise may not be there. Reports further indicate that KCR has also postponed his plans to visit several Indian metros to garner support for his idea of third or Federal Front and formulate an appropriate agenda for such a front.

There are specific reasons for KCR’s dilemma. He is finding it difficult to find parties that would strictly be against Congress and the BJP. The parties that expressed enthusiasm at KCR’s idea like the TMC and JMM are not ready to completely give up friendship with Congress. The CPI(M) is , perhaps, the only party that has announced its opposition to both Congress and BJP . Yet, the CPI(M) too called for the defeat of BJP and appealed to vote anyone who has the strength to defeat BJP in Karnataka. This tantamounts to voting for Congress as it is the only party capable of defeating BJP in majority of the constituencies in Karnataka, though the Left may not agree. Meanwhile , the CPI(M) is not ready to ally with TRS in the state.

Thus, the TRS supremo may be wary of the success of such federal front proposal at this point of time.

Besides, any consolidation of political forces against BJP would only benefit congress which is his principal adversary . Thus, KCR is not ready for any political action that can prove to be beneficial for his arch rival Congress as the BJP is not a force to reckon with in Telangana .

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Jagan’s Resignations Salvo to irk Chandrababu — Prof K Nageshwar

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YSR Congress announced that its MPs would resign on the last day of parliament session if the no-confidence motion is not taken up and special status is thus denied again. The party is exerting pressure on TDP to also seek the resignation of its MPs to send united message to centre. However TDP maintains that resignations do not yield any advantage and it’s MPs would continue to fight while remaining in office. But, TDP which initially said that no-confidence motion is only a last resort, was compelled to first support YSR Congress motion and later moved its own motion. The TDP earlier disowned the demand for special status when centre offered special package in lieu of it. But, the party as to retreat and reiterate the special status demand as the opposition persisted on it. Thus the cat and mouse game between TDP and YSR Congress continues as the sentiment runs high on election eve.

The TDP has already exhausted its weapons like withdrawal of ministers form Modi ministry, snapping ties with BJP led NDA, declaring an all out war on BJP and finally moving no-confidence motion. The party would subsequently launch campaign to tell the people how the BJP led central government ditched Andhra Pradesh.

However, the BJP is not a political contender for the TDP. The YSR Congress is the main opposition. An all out war on BJP would create hostile atmosphere for the saffron party. But, both the TDP and the YSR Congress besides other parties like Congress, the Left and even Jana Sena which are also finding fault with BJP will compete for the advantage emanating from vilifying BJP.

Here comes the competition between TDP and the YSR Congress. The next move thus becomes critical for further campaign. The YSR Congress has already announced its programme which concludes with the resignation of MPs in protest against denial of special status.

The TDP is in a Catch- 22 situation. If it also decides to seek the resignation of its MPs, it would only be following the action of YSR Congress. If not, the YSR Congress and its supremo would launch scathing attack on TDP that it is clinging to positions. This is precisely the tactics adopted by the TRS against the Congress legislators during the Telangana movement and finally benefitted from it.

Jagan Mohan Reddy has the advantage of announcing the party’s programme much early at a time when the TDP was dilly dallying on whether or not to exit NDA.

At different points of time, the TDP and YSR congress were each getting upper hand in the political game around special status. The YSR Congress lagged behind as TDP was the first to react on the union budget showing Andhra Pradesh step motherly treatment. That was the time YSR Congress leaders like Vijayasai Reddy was praising the budget. But, Jagan tried to snatch the opportunity from the TDP by focussing on special status. The TDP was trailing in the race as it disowned special status for special package. But, Chandra Babu Naidu with his decision to withdraw the ministers could attract the attention of everyone. But, as he remained indecisive on pulling out of NDA, the YSR Congress took an advantage and fired the no-confidence salvo and could get upper hand again. But, The TDP supremo by pulling out of NDA, moving his own no-confidence motion and successfully garnering greater political support due to his stature in national politics could limit the damage and even move ahead of the opposition YSR Congress. But, with now Jagan Mohan Reddy announcing the resignation of his MPs and the TDP still remaining indecisive, the state politics would witness fresh round of competition between the ruling TDP and the opposition YSR Congress.

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Prof Nageshwar – TDP No confidence motion is a damage control exercise

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A day after TDP lost the initiative and forced to extend the support to YSR Congress sponsored no- confidence motion on the question of special status TDP moved its own no-confidence motion. Now, it is a strange political spectacle that YSR Congress and TDP are moving separate no-confidence motions though aimed at similar purpose. Thus, is the political manoeuvring to reap the maximum mileage from people’s sentiment. As the YSR Congress preponed its decision to move the no-confidence motion , Naidu hurriedly took the decision to pull out of NDA. Earlier he has only withdrew his ministers.

In fact, the decision of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has precipitated the exit of TDP from NDA. Thus, he was compelled to extend support to YSR congress sponsored no-confidence motion while accusing Jagan of indulging in politics of surrender, Naidu told the Assembly that he would still support the no-confidence motion in the interests of Andhra Pradesh. But, he soon realised the strategic blunder in it and retreated from his stand.

The TDP has not only moved its own no-confidence motion, but, is now non committal on supporting the YSR Congress sponsored move.

Interestingly, the opposition YSR Congress agreed to support even the TDP sponsored motion. However, senior leader of TDP, Kambhampati Ram Mohan Rao refused to give any commitment when he was pinned down by this author in a television debate on whether or not the TDP would also support YSR Congress moved motion. Such a diabolical stand is despite Naidu himself announcing that his party would not even hesitate to support the Jagan’s motion.

This indicates a sudden and swift change in the TDP strategy after realising that it lagged behind in the politics of no-confidence.

In fact, the TDP was also caught on the wrong foot even on the question of special status when it disowned the demand and accepted Centre’s offer of special package in lieu of special status.

Chandrababu Naidu is using his political clout to rally more support than what the YSR congress MPs could mobilise. The TDP has two additional advantages. It has more strength than the YSR Congress in Lok Sabha. The TDP left the NDA and thus became cynosure of national politics. Besides, the TDP supremo was instrumental in heralding United Front government at the Centre. He has worked with most of the regional and smaller parties in both United Front and National Front. He also has rapport with several NDA allies of BJP as he was the lifeline of Vajpayee government. Taking advantage of his political contacts, Naidu swiftly moved to frustrate YSR Congress and take a lead in the political chess around no-confidence. The BJP is also concentrating its attack on TDP giving latter additional advantage to dominate the no-confidence discourse.

Thus, despite several political somersaults and initial strategic deficits, Chandrababu Naidu could plunge into action on Friday in an obvious bid to control the damage.

For More Reading:
అవిశ్వాసరాజకీయంలోపార్టీలపరుగేపరుగు
అవిశ్వాసంపైజగన్కు TDP మద్దతు, ఇదేం

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Prof Nageshwar : Is the expulsion of MLA’s a grand Political strategy of TRS

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In a rather unprecedented action, two congress MLAs have been suspended from the Telangana Assembly . Speaking in the house, chief Minister, KCR said that a similar action on two more congress MLAs is likely . What does this infer for politics? On the face of it , it is an action to regulate behaviour of erring MLAs. But, with the extreme action of expulsion, the two seats will now fall vacant. As the Parliament elections are not within the stipulated period, the by-elections are most likely .

As per the Indian Constitution and Supreme court judgement in Raja Ram Pal case , the courts do not interfere with the action of the speaker and the house. The legislature has a constitutional right to regulate its own proceedings. The validity of any proceeding in the legislature cannot be questioned before a court of law on the grounds of any alleged irregularity or irrationality .

In its judgement in Raja Ram Pal vs. the Hon’ble Speaker , Lok Sabha and others case, the Supreme Court held that the legislative proceeding can only be challenged in the court on the ground of illegality or unconstitutionality . The Speaker who is vested with the power to regulate the conduct of the business or to maintain order is not subjected to jurisdiction of the courts in exercise of those powers. The apex court also upheld the power of Parliament to expel its members from the house. This applies to state legislature (Practice and Procedure of Parliament by M.N.Kaul and S.L. Shakdher ).
Thus, the expelled Congress members may not get any relief even if they challenge the expulsion in any court of law. Therefore, the by-election in these seats seems to be imminent.

In fact, the ruling TRS is eagerly waiting for such an opportunity to prove that it still enjoys the popular support of the people of Telangana . This is more so essential as it comes before 2019 general elections. The TDP in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh proved its capacity to win the polls through the Nandyal by-poll . The ruling TRS in Telangana is waiting for such similar opportunity to demoralise the opposition Congress.

More recently, when Revanth Reddy resigned from the state assembly , the TRS was more or less battle ready to prove its point. However, no clarity is available on the resignation of Revanth. It seems that Revanth Reddy and the party he joined in are not serious in precipitating by-elections due to the risks involved in such an exercise. However, the ruling TRS is not ready to take extra risk by seeking the resignation of all those who have joined the party from other parties. Any such mega exercise can prove to be counterproductive for the TRS .

Therefore, the TRWS is looking for a safer option to prove that it is still a force to reckon with and any talk of anti-incumbency is baseless.

At one point of time, there was speculation in political circles, that the TRS would go for by-elections in Nalgonda parliamentary constituency as Gutha Sukender Reddy was appointed as chairman of Rythu Samanvaya Samithi. But, given the fact that it is a sitting seat of Congress and the party is relatively stronger in the district the TRS seems to have revised its decision and proper precaution is taken so that Sukender Reddy would not attract the office of profit .

Now, that the two expelled members belong to Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar districts that fall in South Telangana, the ruling TRS finds it as a useful situation for it in the by-elections. If the congress wins, the TRS can simply claim that the party has only retained its seats. If the TRS wins, it will be a morale booster. The TRS is traditionally strong in Northern Telangana and any win in Southern Telangana would be a bonus for the party . Komati Reddy Venkat Reddy and Sampat , the two expelled members face serious infighting within the party. Komati Reddy is engaged in a direct fight with the PCC chief. The TRS expects to gain from the infighting in Congress.

Any show of strength ahead of 2019 general elections would be a major strategic advantage for the ruling party. The TRS is already planning for mega public meetings in both Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar. The ruling party strongly feels that its strength has increased after the 2014 mandate due to defections from other parties and the pro-incumbency enjoyed by KCR government. The TRS leaders cite the example of Warangal parliamentary by-poll necessitated by the resignation of deputy chief minister, Kadiyam Srihari. The TRS retained the seat with higher margin as compared to 2014 .

Thus, the expulsion of congress MLAs will now translate into a political battle from that of a legislative battle.

For More from Prof K Nageshwar:
కాంగ్రేస్ MLA బహిష్కరణసమంజసమా

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Prof. K Nageshwar On Pawan Kalyan Targeting Chandrababu Naidu

Contrary to the widespread political expectations that the ruling TDP and the Pawan Kalyan’s JanaSena will be allies in 2019, the JanaSena Chief made a frontal attack on TDP rule. More so his personal attack on Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh has certainly triggered a major political storm in already politically volatile state of Andhra Pradesh.

It is true that the TDP was keen on forging an electoral alliance with JanaSena especially after it estranged BJP. The recent defeats of BJP in Uttar Pradesh by polls enthused TDP as the party felt that its decision to pull out ministers from Modi ministry and ultimately quitting NDA is a politically correct decision. But, Pawan Kalyan’s jape at Naidu and his son shall prove to be a major setback to TDP political maths in the run up to 2019.

The TDP won the 2014 with a slender margin of little over two percent votes when the BJP and the JanaSena were with the TDP. Now, that the BJP will no longer be the electoral ally of TDP, the latter would certainly loose some percentage of votes, notwithstanding the calculation that people of Andhra Pradesh are hostile to BJP due to its denial of Special Status. The TDP in fact expected to compensate this loss to an extent by retaining the friendship with Pawan Kalyan. Besides, Pawan was a critical factor in enlisting the support of Kapus for TDP in 2014. The Kapu vote is a decisive factor in a at least 40 seats in the 175 member Legislative assembly of Andhra Pradesh. The TDP can even face some level of anti-incumbency by the time elections approach. Given these factors, JanaSena’s support is essential for the TDP to retain power in 2019. No other party can be an ally for TDP. With the hostile attitude taken by the JanaSena, the TDP has to face the polls on its own.

There are two distinct theories being floated in the political circles on the question of what would be the political fallout of Pawan’s latest tirade targeted at TDP.

Firstly, as section of political opinion especially YSR Congress still feels that Pawan factor is choreographed to suit Chandrababu Naidu’s interests in 2019. With Pawan taking anti-government stand, the opposition vote would further get fragmented thus in ultimate analysis benefitting the ruling TDP.
However, a second interpretation could be JanaSena will be getting both the anti-incumbency vote as well as the votes that TDP could have polled if Pawan has not taken a strident anti-Naidu position.
The second explanation could be more nearer to reality as Pawan is part of the 2014 mandate in favour of TDP. Any exit of Pawan Kalyan would certainly cost the TDP.

Thus, Andhra Pradesh is to witness a much more serious multi-cornered contest as Janasena will now be in the electoral fray unlike 2014.

The BJP will anyhow be the target of all the political parties in the State. The relatively soft stand of Jaganmohan Reddy towards BJP despite he strongly advocating Special Status to Andhra Pradesh would prove to be dearer as Pawan joins the campaign against the saffron brigade on the question of Special Status. As Pawan Kalyan announced his decision to go on fast unto death amidst TDP, YSRCP MPs protesting in Parliament, the Special Status issue will become much more sharper.

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Prof K Nageshwar’s take on unruly scenes in Telangana assembly

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Telangana legislature witnesses unholy scenes. It is a reflection of TRS-Congress growing political slug fest

The Unruly incident during the joint session of Telangana legislature is incidental to the growing political slug fest between TRS and the Congress and is also a reflection of intra party rivalry within the congress wherein there is a race for party’s Chief ministerial nominee for 2019 polls. The incidents are also a reflection of the democracy deficit growing in India and the legislatures are a victim of such degeneration in India’s democratic polity.

The behaviour of the Congress members during Governor’s address to the joint session of Telangana legislature on the eve of the budget is certainly abhorrent. But, the Congress cannot be singled out for such an abominable behaviour. The ruling party delivers lectures in decent parliamentary practice while the opposition is violent in the houses. This remains the trend and only the players change while the rules of the game remain the same. In the united Andhra Pradesh Assembly, the then opposition TRS members demonstrated similar type of unacceptable parliamentary behaviour while the then ruling party gave lectures on Parliamentary democracy.

The TRS leaders whose behaviour in the united State assembly was reprehensible are today ministers in the state cabinet too. Of course, these leaders even today defend their behaviour on the ground that it was inevitable for them to do so as the then Congress government at the centre was stubbornly denying the statehood for Telangana. The butchery of democratic practices are justified as the objective for doing so is so sacred as the formation of separate state. Today, the Congress similarly defends its unacceptable behaviour citing the government’s alleged indifference to the problems of peasantry. But, however justifiable the issues being raised may be, parliamentary democracy demands certain level of civilised behaviour in the legislatures. The Parliament and the legislatures are meant for a serious debate on the issues concerning the people. Physical assaults or violent behaviour do not in any way contribute to the redressal of people’s grievances.

But, the political system alone cannot be blamed for it. The headline chasing, sensation savvy media covers prominently such acts of indecent behaviour rather than a serious discussion on issues of urgent public importance. The legislators and parliamentarians resort to such acts only to grab headlines in media so that they can reach to their respective constituencies. Virulent individual behaviour and caustic remarks are considered as an index of a politician’s commitment to the issue and the capacity of that politician to raise those issues.

This is not to defend the behaviour of the opposition, but, it needs to be underlined that the ruling parties across the nation are increasingly impatient to the protesting voices. Respect for opposition criticism whether or not one agrees with it is simply missing. The opposition feels it as its sacred responsibility to criticise anything and everything government does. Such political slugfest has inevitable reflection on legislative discourse.

The ruling TRS is so ruthless in silencing the opposition by encouraging wholesale defections from the Congress and other opposition parties including the TDP and the CPI. Thus the opposition space is shrinking, thanks to the merciless machinations of ruling TRS. Though, the Congress cannot claim to be innocent when it was in power, such acts of political defections are certainly reprehensible in the new state of Telangana which was expected to usher in new political culture given its traditions of struggle and movement.

The opposition is feeling restless and the incidents in state legislature reflect this state of opposition. The opposition members also allege that the ruling party hardly gives them an opportunity to put across their view and the ruling party is often unilateral with government representatives getting unlimited opportunity while the opposition voices are choked on some or other pretext.

Even the civil society organisations allege that the government is undemocratically scuttling any kind of people’s protests citing law and order problem. In fact, the TRS was catapulted to power only due to innumerable public protests. Dissent is integral to democracy. Several judgements of Supreme Court clearly differentiated between law and order problem and the public order, the ground on which the State can impose reasonable restrictions on people’s right to protest.

This simmering discontent in the polity and the civil society is brushed aside on the pretext that the ruling TRS is still enjoying the people’s mandate. But, this cannot be a justification for strangulating protests or opposition voices. The Telangana government should certainly rethink on its approach for permitting protests in society and dissent in legislature. Such democratic means to ventilate political opposition is vital for democratic engagement.

As the elections approach, the political acrimony would further accentuate.

Meanwhile, the incidents also reflect the ongoing power struggle in the Telangana Congress. Political observers feel that there is an intense intra party rivalry between number of Chief ministerial aspirants. Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, a Chief ministerial aspirant has unsuccessfully tried to get to the State Congress Chief’s position. There were also reports that the Komati Reddy brothers would defect to BJP or even TRS. But, nothing of that sort happened and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy seems to have reconciled for time being. But, he cannot suppress his urge to come into limelight . His competitive urge to challenge KCR rule might have also prompted him to resort to such an act.

Komatireddy Venkat Reddy is clearly seen flinging the headphone which hit the Telangana Legislative Council chairman Swamy Goud in the eye.

Thus, the legislature may be described as sanctum sanctorum of democracy. But, it would certainly be a reflection of state of polity.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

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Prof K Nageshwar — Did Jagan precipitate Chandrababu’s exit from NDA?

Everyone expected the exit of TDP from NDA to be an acrimonious affair with both the parties accusing each other in a violent manner. The mutual allegations by leaders of the both the parties strengthened such a speculation. In fact, political circles thought that TDP which has been protesting in Parliament over the raw deal meted out to Andhra Pradesh would make it a grand gala affair with fire crackers so that the party can effectively communicate to the people why it has to divorce BJP. But, nothing of that sort happened. The TDP ministers said nothing critical of BJP except asserting that the state has not received what is due for it. Similarly, Chandrababu Naidu in his farewell speech praised the contribution of BJP ministers in his cabinet. The BJP ministers especially Kamineni Srinivas who is considered to be more close to TDP than BJP despite being the latter’s representative, has applauded that Naidu is the real harbinger of development in the State. What signifies the unprecedented bonhomie between BJP and TDP even at the time of estrangement?

Political observers interpret that Naidu is moving out of Modi ministry more due to political compulsions rather than ideological aversion. In fact, a BJP leader acknowledged that Naidu is forced to give up his alliance with his party only because of Jaganmohan Reddy. This is in fact a candid admission of a political reality.

Naidu was caught in a typical Hamletian dilemma of ‘to be or not to be’ with NDA. He actually wanted to strike but not wound the BJP led central government. This is precisely the reason why the TDP was the first to raise the mantle of protest against the injustice done to Andhra Pradesh in the latest Union Budget. Naidu wanted to derive the maximum political financial benefit from the centre by protesting as much as he can. But, precisely here, the opposition YSR Congress leader has fired a salvo by announcing a proactive programme of protest including the resignation of his party MPs on the last day of the budget session. Besides, Jaganmohan Reddy raised the issue of special category status, the demand which Naidu has already disowned. This created a political compulsion for the TDP to take a call. It cannot confine to the resignation of MPs as the idea was patented by Jagan and there is no meaning in resigning from parliament while continuing in the ruling alliance at the Centre. Thus, the TDP has to advance its decision and seek the withdrawal of its ministers to outsmart Jaganmohan Ruddy. In all likelihood, the TDP would even exit NDA to rob the shine out of Jaganmohan Ready’s political spectacle of MPs resigning.

Thus the political circles feel that Jaganmohan Reddy actually precipitated the TDP’s decision to quit the NDA. Whether or not the TDP would have done this independent of Jagan’s action is a million dollar question. But, Jagan’s posturing hastened the process of TDP’s withdrawal from Modi dispensation and ultimately from the BJP led NDA.

FOR MORE READING:

BJP కి విడాకులివ్వడంలో చంద్రబాబు లెక్కలు? Prof K Nageshwar on Chandrababu’s Political Maths

2014 లో BJP వల్లనే చంద్రబాబు గెలిచాడా?|Did Chandrababu Naidu won 2014 elections due to BJP?

NDA కు గుడ్ బై చెప్పడం చంద్రబాబుకు తప్పలేదా?

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