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Mayawati will not help Naidu: Ex-TDP leader

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad | July 21, 2008 16:37 IST

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An Alliance in Crisis

Perhaps the strangest aspect of the current political spectacle in New Delhi is the most vociferous and strident opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal by Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu [Images], once an unabashed admirer of the United States and its capitalist economic model.

Naidu, who was the poster boy of the World Bank and other multilateral agencies for his pro-globalisation and liberalisation policies as the Andhra Pradesh chief minister, has now come out as the strongest opponent of the Indo-US deal.

The TDP president, who enthusiastically played host to the then US president Bill Clinton [Images] in 2000 and Microsoft chief Bill Gates [Images] and other capitalist and American icons, is now finds the same America an anathema as he is trying to cosy up to the Left. One of his objections to the deal is that India led by United Progressive Alliance was getting closer to the United States at a time when the world was abhorring the President George Bush [Images].

But what exactly is the thinking of NaiduĀ on this issue and how does he perceive the nuclear deal? This question was put to T Devender Goud, the former number two in TDP and a key advisor on political matters who was acquainted with the working of Naidu.

"His opposition to the nuclear deal has nothing to do with the nuclear deal", Goud toldĀ "It is just a political game he is playing using the nuclear deal issue as a mere plea," said Goud who after quitting the TDP has formed his own regional party Nava Telangana Praja Party.

"The stand he has taken on the issue is not on the basis of any principle, but because of political compulsions and for his own convenience," Goud said.

At the same time his fever pitch activity continues at the national level to bring Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj party leader Mayawati into the fold of the United National Progressive Alliance and float the idea of projecting her as the next prime minister of the country, he said.

"Naidu is a worried man today and he is ready to grab any straw in the wind," says Goud. "The new emerging political forces in the state are forcing him to look for new supporters and allies. I think he feels Mayawati will be able to help him in the state, but I don't agree with it."

There are others too who feel Naidu is up to his old game of political manipulation for his own benefit. "I don't know whether he will benefit from this new allies including Mayawati. But I can surely say that Mayawati should be wary of Naidu as wherever he has gone he has only brought political doom to his allies," said a senior leader of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and member of Parliament from Hyderabad, Asaduddin Owaisi.

On Naidu's opposition to the nuclear deal, Owaisi said that he was doing it hoping it will restore his credibility in the eyes of Muslim community. "But after the way Naidu had extended support to the NDA and was indirectly responsible for the Gujarat pogrom, I don't think, he is going to get back the support of Muslims by his posturing on the deal."

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