National

Collective leadership need of the hour: Chandrababu Naidu

PTI Kolkata | Updated on January 24, 2019 Published on January 24, 2019

AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has stressed that “collective leadership” is the need of the hour for the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) of opposition parties, and said the name of the leader for the prime minister’s post would be declared after elections.

Naidu, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president, said that be it West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee or NCP chief Sharad Pawar, nobody is working single-handedly but functioning together. He came down heavily on his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao for skipping the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) mega opposition rally in Kolkata on January 19, and described his absence from the event as “drama“.

The absence of the BJD and Left parties at the Brigade Parade Ground national unity rally, which was participated by nearly two dozen opposition leaders, had also set tongues wagging. Naidu also made a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and dubbed him as a “publicity-seeking PM, who only raises slogans and never performs”.

EVMs

“There is a need of a collective leadership. Politics is for serving people. It is through politics we will form the next government. Only post elections, we will announce the name of the leader,” Naidu told PTI in an exclusive interview here on January 19. On the issue of electronic voting machines (EVMs), he said they were susceptible to “manipulation” and called for restoring the ballot paper system.

Naidu said the coalition of opposition parties would soon visit the Election Commission (EC) to press for their demand to do away with EVMs and return to paper ballot. “The ‘Mahagatbandhan’ allies are planning to begin a nationwide debate on reintroducing ballot paper system for Lok Sabha elections. EVMs are not used in any other democracy,” the TDP president said.

The machines pose a big “risk” as the fate of the democracy lies in the hands of a computer programmer. “Using EVMs means you are risking democracy in the hands of one individual, who is a computer operator or a programmer. No developed or technology-driven country, including the US, Japan or Germany, has allowed EVMs. Anybody can manipulate these machines,” he said.

Tall promises

Naidu, who had pulled out of the NDA last year over denial of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, said the common people are “annoyed” over the performance of the present dispensation. “Modi’s slogans have to match his performance. That is missing. Common people have realised that he makes tall promises without delivering them. That is why they are annoyed. Because of him, the country is suffering. Today, democracy is under threat. This never happened in the past.

“All these sop announcements will be more damaging. He (Modi) might announce more (sops) on January 26. These are all panic reactions which will not help now. You (Modi) should have done all that in the past four-and-half years,” he said. On BJP’s rule at the Centre during the present term, Naidu said, “We have lost five to six years and that agonises people. You cannot bring back time.”

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on January 24, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor