Why TDP’s Nara Chandra Babu Naidu Is The Kingmaker?


AMARAVATI: Three years ago, he had walked out of the state assembly in anger, vowing to return only when he becomes the chief minister.

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On Tuesday, he appeared set to redeem his pledge after leading his Telugu Desam party towards a landslide victory in the Andhra Pradesh assembly polls.

Naidu’s electoral triumph, where his TDP was ahead in 135 of the 175 seats, according to the latest figures, comes months after his arrest in an alleged corruption case. In the outgoing House, TDP has 23 members.

The TDP also put up a good show in the Lok Sabha polls, leading in 16 of the total 25 seats in the state, with allies BJP and Janasena Party ahead in three and two constituencies respectively.

In the process, he also has emerged as a possible kingmaker, being the second largest party in the ruling NDA alliance behind the BJP, which will most likely fail to attain a simple majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha. This means the BJP will depend on TDP and Janata Dal (United) to form a government.

This is the latest turn of fortune for the veteran politician who is credited for turning Hyderabad, the capital of undivided Andhra Pradesh, into a technology and computer software hub.

Born on April 20, 1950, at Naravaripalli in the undivided Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Nara Chandrababu Naidu started his more than four-decade-long political career on the student politics platform at Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati.

Following that solid foundation, Naidu (74) joined the Congress party and went on to become a cabinet minister.

However, he later jumped ship to the TDP, founded by his late father-in-law and legendary actor N T Rama Rao. Naidu first became the chief minister in 1995 and went on to have another two terms as CM.

His first two terms as chief minister were at the helm of united Andhra Pradesh, beginning in 1995 and ending in 2004, nine years at a stretch while the third term came post-bifurcation of the state. Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh 10 years ago.

During the late 90s, Naidu played a key role in forming the Central Government of that time and the first NDA government formed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was supported from outside by the TDP.

In 2014, Naidu emerged as the first chief minister of the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh and served it until 2019.

In his third term as CM, he championed Amaravati to be the capital city of the southern state, but losing power left his brainchild as an unfulfilled promise.

In 2019, he suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of a much younger Jagan Mohan Reddy of the YSR Congress Party, who also dealt a debilitating blow to the Amaravati project.

In 2021, protesting some comments made against his family members in the Assembly, Naidu walked out of the assembly and said he would come back only as the state Chief Minister again.

There was more bad news in store for him. In 2023 he was arrested under the Skill Development Corporation Scam case by the YSRCP government, the lowest point in his political career.

After the pre-dawn arrest on September 9, Naidu spent nearly two months in the Rajamahendravaram central jail.

However, an interim bail on October 31, which was made absolute on November 20, set Naidu free to prepare for the 2024 polls, enabling him to join the BJP-led NDA alliance along with Janasena.


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