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In Andhra Pradesh, voters’ choice will determine the Future of the State

Experience for long years and service as a Chief Minister for 14 years, apart from grip on administration and efficient political management, together can be found blended in AP Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu. 
 
In 2014, when the state was bifurcated in an unscientific manner, people believed that Naidu alone can handle the situation deftly and voted him to power. His vision, accountability, experience helped him steer the state through the crisis and put it on the development path. He worked hard  for the construction of the new capital city Amaravati and for bringing in investments into the state. Five years have passed and the people of the state are ready to exercise their franchise again. 
 
Meanwhile, his rival and YSRC chief Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy has been fight to resolve people’s problems and carry forward the legacy of his father and former CM late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. He toured the entire state by walk as part of Praja Sankalpa Yatra. He strongly advocated the cause of special category status. 
The million dollar question now is would the people vote for experience or vote for a change.  
 
Naidu began his political career with the Congress party. In 1970, he joined the Youth Congress even when he was a youth wing leader. In 1978, he won the Assembly elections on a Congress ticket. In 1980, he worked as a minister when he drew the attention of TD founder late NTR. Who got his daughter married to Naidu.
 
In 1982, under the slogan of Telugu self-respect, the TD was founded and within a few months, the party rose to power, vanquishing the Congress. Naidu’s announcement that he was ready to fight against his father-in-law on a Congress ticket created a sensation.  However, he lost the election. Then he joined the TDP and stood as a pillar of support to NTR.
 
He established himself as a strong leader and ran both the the  party and the government efficiently. In 1984, he had an opportunity to prove his mettle. When the then prime minister Indira Gandhi directed Governor Ramlal to dismiss the NTR government, Naidu played a key role in the agitation that followed to bring back NTR to power. 
 
He worked hand in hand with NTR and at the same time, united all the regional parties against the Congress, which fructified as National Front in 1989. In 1995, Naidu dethroned NTR and became the CM and also as the party president. While some describe it as a conspiracy, others call it a bid to save the party.
 
He occupied the CM seat for a second time in 1999 after being elected by the people. He strengthened both the government and the party. In 2004, the YSR wave swept the state. For two consecutive times, Naidu faced rout and then the state was divided.
 
Considering the previous experience in the united state, people voted him to power in 2014 when the TDP won 102 seats and formed the government.  Forging an alliance with the BJP, the TDP bagged Union minister posts too. It may be recalled that Naidu forged an alliance with Modi in 2014 against whom he led an agitation in 2002 in the wake of Gujarat riots. He demanded that Modi be ripped off the CM post.
 
During bifurcation, Naidu opposed the Congress but now, has joined hands with the same party after differing with the BJP and quitting the NDA on the special status issue. While some call it opportunism, they need to understand that there are no permanent enemies in politics. 
 
In case of Jagan, he had walked out of the Congress, following the party's rejection of making him the Chief Minister after his father, YSR's death. Later, he gave a tough competition to Chandrababu Naidu in 2014 elections but lost with a slight margin. Despite not having political experience, his Praja Sankalpa created a much-needed positive image for him. 
 
However, several missteps such as alliance with TRS, blaming the murder of his uncle Y.S Vivekananda Reddy on the TDP and tampering with evidence, indulging in malpractices over deletion of legitimate voters from AP's voters list as well as constantly submitting grievances against AP officials and getting them transferred have not gone down well with people. 
 
Whatever might be the consequences, Naidu is now trying to unite the anti-BJP forces at the Centre while he is fighting a tough battle at home. Known for his strategies and relentless fight till the last moment, this election is more about the future of Andhra Pradesh and it all dependent on the voters’ choice. 
 
Will it be an inexperienced Jagan who has gone to prison for criminal cases and misappropriation of assets or will it be Chandrababu Naidu who has proved himself as an efficient administrator and a deft politician with global image? 

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