Chandrababu Naidu who was derided by the YSR Congress during the Andhra Pradesh election campaign as `U-Turn Babu’ has taken another U-turn. This time on the CBI.
After snapping ties with the NDA in March 2018, relations between the Telugu Desam and the BJP had nosedived, impacting Centre-state relations as well. In November last year, the then Naidu government withdrew the `general consent’ that is accorded to the CBI to conduct raids and carry out investigation in Andhra Pradesh. The CBI functions under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act and while this gives the agency complete jurisdiction over Delhi, it can enter other states of India only with the general consent of the state government.
Naidu had called the CBI “corrupt”, saying the Anti-Corruption Bureau of the state is much better. When Jaganmohan Reddy came to power, it decided in its first week to restore the general consent to the CBI.
But now Naidu wants CBI to investigate the allegations of harassment the TDP has levelled against the Jagan regime. The party has accused the government of political vendetta against former Assembly speaker Kodela Sivaprasad Rao, forcing him to take the extreme step of committing suicide.
The case is being investigated right now by the Hyderabad police since Rao committed suicide in Hyderabad. Does this also indicate Naidu’s trust deficit vis-a-vis the Telangana police?
Incidentally, in March this year, when Jagan’s uncle YS Vivekananda Reddy was killed and the YSRCP had demanded a CBI probe, Naidu had turned it down saying the Special Investigation Team formed to investigate will do the job. Strangely, 100 days after coming to power, Jagan has not asked the CBI to take over the case either. The SIT too has not cracked the case yet.
Naidu was christened as U-turn babu because he was accused of taking a U-turn on special category status – first accepting the package in lieu and then deciding against it – and the TDP’s relationship with the Congress – from political foe to alliance partner in Telangana to a friend but not an ally in Andhra.