NDA Unity: Naidu to Delay Swearing-In Ceremony to Accommodate PM Modi's Attendance


by IANS | Fri, Jun 07, 2024, 12:50 PM

Amaravati, June  (IANS) Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu has decided to take oath as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister after Narendra Modi’s swearing-in as the Prime Minister for a third consecutive term, likely to be held on June 9.

Naidu wants to invite Prime Minister Modi to his swearing-in ceremony, which is being planned on a grand scale like in 2014, when he took oath as the first Chief Minister of the 'new' Andhra Pradesh post the bifurcation.

At a meeting with the newly-elected MPs of TDP on Thursday, Naidu said he may take oath on June 12. He also conveyed to them that he would invite PM Modi for the swearing-in ceremony.

Naidu, who left for New Delhi on Thursday evening, will attend the meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the national capital on Friday.

He is likely to stay in Delhi to attend the Prime Minister’s swearing-in, which is likely to take place on June 9.

Naidu will also invite the Central ministers and top leaders of the BJP and the other NDA constituents for his swearing-in.

The invitation to PM Modi and other leaders is seen as a strategic move by Naidu to foster a durable alliance with the NDA. Through this gesture, the TDP chief will be signalling his commitment to nurturing a long-term relationship with the ruling coalition.

Naidu's swearing-in ceremony is also likely to send a clear message to the opposition, particularly the INDIA bloc led by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.

The willingness of Naidu to strengthen his association with the NDA could potentially dampen the opposition's hopes of wooing the TDP chief to their side.

Kharge's cautious response after election results, hinting at a wait-and-see approach, was, in fact, indicative of the INDIA bloc's strategy to exploit any potential discontent within the NDA camp.

From the time the results were declared, Naidu has been making it clear that he is with the NDA.

“Why will we contest elections together if we are not with the NDA,” he asked mediapersons when they asked if the TDP would extend support to the NDA.

Back in power after a gap of five years, during which he personally faced tough challenges, Naidu is not ready to take any risk by leaving the NDA, which he had re-joined just ahead of the elections.

The 74-year-old will be looking for strong bonding with the NDA to bail out the state, which is facing a financial crunch.

By aligning himself closely with PM Modi and his team of ministers, he will be looking to leverage their support and cooperation for the state, which remains without a state capital even after 10 years.

Naidu, who is set to become the Chief Minister for a fourth time, may also seek liberal assistance from the Centre to tide over the financial crisis and to implement the welfare schemes promised by him in the run-up to the elections.

Alleging that Andhra Pradesh suffered destruction of 30 years in just five years of YSRCP rule, Naidu has vowed to put the state’s economy back on rails.

The state needs to mobilise resources to fund the implementation of several promises made by the TDP and its ally Jana Sena, with a third ally BJP endorsing the manifesto.

The promises made in the manifesto include free bus travel for women, three free gas cylinders every year to each household, monthly financial assistance of Rs 1,500 to women aged 18-59 years, creation of 20 lakh jobs in five years, monthly unemployment allowance of Rs 3,000, annual financial assistance of Rs 15,000 to the mother of every school-going children, and investment support of Rs 20,000 to every farmer.

In addition to seeking some key ministries and the post of Lok Sabha Speaker for the TDP, Naidu is likely to reiterate his demand to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh as committed in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014.

When Naidu took oath as the Chief Minister of the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh on June 18, 2014, then Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, M. Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar, Kalraj Mishra, Prakash Javadekar and Nirmala Sitharaman had attended the event.

Senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi and the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Goa, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland were also present.

The TDP is planning a similar grand event this time by inviting a galaxy of leaders from the NDA constituents.

In the presence of PM Modi and his ministers, Naidu may seek the Centre’s assistance to develop Amaravati as the state capital, a dream project he had taken up in 2015.

On October 22, 2015, PM Modi laid the foundation for the new state capital Amaravati.

Then Central ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Nirmala Sitharaman, Y.S. Chowdary, and Bandaru Dattatreya and Governors and Chief Ministers of a few states had attended the event for what was promised as a 'world-class' and 'people's capital'.

After coming to power in 2019, the YSRCP shelved the project and announced its plans to develop three state capitals.

Jagan Mohan Reddy wanted to develop Visakhapatnam as the administrative capital, Kurnool as the judicial capital, and Amaravati as the legislative capital.

However, his plan faced legal problems due to the opposition from the farmers in Amaravati, who had given their lands.

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