Chandrababu Naidu’s Capital failures

Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bifurcation, Assembly election, Amaravati, TDP, Telugu Desam Party, the federal, english news website
Chandrababu Naidu has tried and failed to build two mega-cities. Image: Prathap Ravishankar

A few days after losing power in the 2004 Assembly elections in undivided Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N Chandrababu Naidu was in an introspective mood during an informal chat with a group of senior journalists at his residence in Hyderabad.

“What should I make of this verdict? Despite earning a nationwide reputation for developing Hyderabad into a global IT destination, we have lost badly in the city region. Is development not an issue with the people?” he wondered.

There was a sense of genuine disappointment and dismay in his voice. His party was virtually wiped out in the city and the adjoining areas as a resurgent Congress had stormed to power. This was at a time when ‘Brand Hyderabad’ was making waves at a national level for its rapid strides in the software industry and Naidu was the toast of the national media for pursuing bold reforms in the state and introducing a corporate style of functioning in government departments.

Over the next 30 minutes, the candid interaction centred around the narrative of populism versus development — whether a clutch of freebies was all that was needed to fetch votes and whether good development was not necessarily good politics.

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