[Reader-list] piece on the Andhra CM

Nagraj Adve nagraj.adve at gmail.com
Fri Sep 4 15:43:22 IST 2009

At a time when the media is falling over itself in praise of the unfortunate
Andhra CM ... an excellent piece by K. Balagopal from the EPW on YSR's rise.



*(June 2004, EPW)*

Chandrababu Naidu’s defeat is the kind of event that lends itself so well to
analysis by hindsight that the effort would be too tiresome. In any case,
analysts attached to the Left parties have done that as ably as hindsight
alone permits, and there is no need to add to their wisdom (by which it is
not intended that they are altogether wrong). In fact, Naidu (or ‘Babu’ as
he is known to his admirers in the State) is a classic instance of a
phenomenon that the West is probably already very familiar with, but we are
only just waking up to: a pervasive media creates a celebrity out of almost
nothing, and then calls in experts to explain why its creation turned out to
be nothing. Chandrababu is merely an ambitious political schemer who has
managed to con quite a lot of intelligent people because he knows that their
hunger for the image he has put on – a third world politician in the mould
of a corporate executive spewing IT jargon and the verbiage of the World
Bank’s development policy prejudices – is too acute for the normal
functioning of their other senses.

This is an effort, in part, to introduce his successor. For if someone does
not do so now, a new myth could soon be in the making, and if the analysts
of Left parties participate in its creation, as a homage to coalition
politics, one may have to spend a lot of time disabusing the public of it.
It is so easy to clothe Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, MBBS with the image of the
good doctor who has turned to politics to cure society, that even without
the help of such expertise, the media may itself involuntarily do so.
Reforms with a human face, which appears to be the current slogan of the
Congress, suits the image so well.

The man is anything but a vendor of humane visages. His rise in politics has
been accompanied by more bloodshed than that of any other politician in this
State. Not bloodshed for some avowed ‘higher cause’, but bloodshed for the
narrowest possible cause: the rise of one individual to political power and
prominence. The recent elections may very well have meant many things in
terms of popular aspirations, and one has no desire to be cynical on that
score. But in the matter of the change of helmsmen, it has merely replaced a
man who would find nothing too crooked if it is in his political interest,
with one who would find nothing too brutal. And for both, the goal is the
same: Power. Such precisely are the men neo-liberalism wishes to find in
power in countries such as ours which it wants to subordinate to its logic
and interests. It would be imprudent to regard this as an irrelevant
consideration on the ground of the Congress Party’s avowal of a ‘human
face’, for firstly that expression has no precise meaning, secondly
Congressmen are known to be capable of changing course mid-stream, and
thirdly India’s rulers irrespective of party have knowingly put themselves
in a position where they have little leeway in matters of policy.

YSR (as he is known in short) belongs to Cuddapah district of the
Rayalaseema region of the state. His constituency, Pulivendula, exhibits a
most distressing topography: endless stretches of nude soil studded with
gravel and relieved by rocks that are even more bare. It is watered, using
the expression figuratively, by the Chitravati, a tributary of the Penna
(called Pennair in most maps), itself hardly a river worth the name. Today
YSR wishes to be seen as a politician who has responded to the needs of
farmers and is determined to do well by them, but in the nearly three
decades of his political life, he has not been instrumental in adding one
acre of assured irrigation to the parched lands of the constituency that has
again and again returned him or his brother (when YSR chose to go to
parliament instead) to the state Assembly.

His father Raja Reddy was, to begin with, an ordinary farmer and a small
time civil contractor. He got converted to Christianity in the days when
even upper castes thought there may be material benefit in doing so, and was
ostracised by the Reddys of his native village, Balapanur. He shifted to
Pulivendula, the tahsil head-quarters. He quickly made a name for himself as
a rough and violent man with whom one had better not get into a quarrel. To
understand how Raja Reddy took advantage of that and paved the way for his
son’s rise in politics, one must know something about Rayalaseema.

*Viewing Rayalaseema *

The Rayalaseema districts of Andhra Pradesh are known for severe
water-scarcity. Though as a matter of convention the four districts of
Anantapur, Cuddapah, Kurnool and Chittoor are said to comprise the region,
in physical, social and historical terms, only the Madanapalle division of
Chittoor district can be talked of in the company of the other three. The
rest of Chittoor is in every sense, including average rainfall
precipitation, a distinct entity. The other three districts have an average
annual rainfall of 618 mm, which is among the lowest in the country. They
lie in the basins of the Tungabhadra and Penna rivers, which popular memory
associates with bounteous waters once upon a time, but are today mere
apologies of streams. The catchment of these rivers gives only a moderate
yield, much of which has already been dammed, rendering the river-beds dry
along most of the length of the rivers. But the canals from the dams serve
only about 4 per cent of the cultivable land in the districts.

The major irrigation source of Rayalaseema, however, used to be the
excellent system of tanks constructed by the Rayas of Vijayanagar, from whom
the region gets its name. Like the rulers of Hyderabad and Warangal to the
north, the Rayas of Vijayanagar got constructed a system of tanks all over
the region to husband the scarce water resources and channel them to the
fields. Indeed, most of the kings who ruled the various parts of the Deccan,
and not merely the Telugu country, built such tanks to provide water for
drinking and irrigation to the populace. A characteristic of the irrigation
tanks of Rayalaseema is their huge size, probably because rainfall there is
even more scarce, and demands even more comprehensive husbanding of water
than elsewhere in the Deccan.

This tank system, as indeed everywhere in the Deccan, is however in a
shambles, now. Almost nothing has been done for their upkeep during the last
several decades. Because of the denudation of the land around, even the
slightest rainfall causes inrush of water into the tanks, breaching the
poorly maintained bund. The breaches merit only the most cosmetic of
repairs, and as a result, the tank bunds are but bundles of ill-repaired
breaches. For the same reason, all the tanks are heavily silted, so heavily
indeed that they look more like irregular-shaped football fields than
irrigation tanks. In the days before chemical fertilisers, the silt was
prized by farmers as a source of fertile topsoil, but now nobody is
interested in taking the silt to fertilise their fields, and so de-silting,
if it is to be done comprehensively, would be akin to a mass waste-removal
exercise. As such, it is too costly for the funds governments are willing to
spare for the upkeep of traditional irrigation systems.

The upshot is reliance on increasing use of groundwater, through deeper and
deeper borewells. But this is a self-destructive game, for the deeper
farmers dig wells in competition with each other, the deeper they will have
to dig next time round. The scarce rainfall cannot sustain this
technology-driven thirst for groundwater. In 2002, in the midst of the
second successive year of drought, a middle class farmer of YSR’s Cuddapah
district had dug a borewell 1,000 feet deep, and still did not find water.
(“If only I had persevered a little more, I may have struck oil” was,
however, the farmer’s only response to commiseration, for a sense of humour
rarely forsakes farmers, even in the worst of adversities).

*Violence-Prone Society *

A harsh physical environment does not necessarily lead to a harsh social
life – there is no such homology – but the peculiar history of Rayalaseema
combined with the region’s scanty endowment has led to a violence-ridden
society. The kingdom of the Rayas was characterised by devolution of the
power of administration, more particularly that of ‘law and order’, down to
the lowest level. This was even more true of the border areas which were
administered by men whom the British Gazetteers called polegars (‘palegadu’
in Telugu and ‘palayakkaran’ in Tamil). They (often) had small forts, and an
armed retinue of men, with whose help they maintained order and assisted the
collection of revenue. Except in the most well-administered periods, these
men were not bound by any known rules of conduct, not to speak of anything
resembling law. They behaved like – and in fact were – war-lords. With the
fall of the Vijayanagar empire most of them became sovereigns over a handful
of villages and incessantly raided neighbouring domains for booty and
territory. It is said – though there is no hard evidence in this regard –
that the villagers caught in this conflict sought refuge with village
strongmen who could gather a retinue behind them and play the role of
protector. But of course, when they did so, the villagers had to pay for the
protection by living in accordance with the protector’s writ.

As the fall of the Vijayanagar empire was followed by conflict between the
British Indian rulers and the rulers of Hyderabad and Mysore, much of which
took place over the Rayalaseema districts, the warlords as well as any
villager who could gather an armed group around him carried a double
premium: the battling armies wooed them, and the local people too needed
their help to protect them against the marauding soldiers from outside the
region. At the end, by the time the British brought the entire region into
their control by the beginning of the 19th century, there was left this
residue of a social practice: men of the dominant sections would gather an
armed gang around them to assert their power, enforce their writ in the
village and fight off challengers to their power over society. While the
polegars were mostly of non-cultivating communities such as boya and patra,
the practice of establishing dominance and exercising power through the
force of armed gangs became a characteristic feature of powerful landed
communities, generically described as kapu (husbandsman) but mainly of the
reddy caste in recent decades. The British, who successfully put an end to
the polegars by a carrot-and-stick policy, found to their dismay that this
residue continued to disturb their notion of rule of law. They christened
these gangs ‘village factions’, a name that continues to be used to
this day.

The typical village faction was that of the village headman, called reddy in
Rayalaseema. That appellation today refers to a dominant caste which is
present all over the state, and men of the caste tag on reddy behind their
names. But that is a phenomenon of recent decades, more particularly the
latter three-quarters of the 20th century. The word has a complex history,
one moment of which is that it designated the village headman in the
Rayalaseema districts, in the days when village administration was presided
over by the institution of hereditary headmen. This reddy would protect his
primacy in the affairs of the village with the most aggressive zealousness.
Any challenger to his importance would have to contend with a violent
response from him. Though we spoke above of a retinue maintained by such
strongmen, it was not a permanent gang maintained only for fighting. Most of
the retinue would be ordinary farmers or labourers who come to the aid of
the Reddy when called upon to do so. They would, it goes without saying,
benefit in matters where the reddy had the final say, but passionate loyalty
of the reddy’s followers is a characteristic of village factions. Their
attachment was never merely a matter of rational calculation.

The dominance of the reddy would often be challenged by someone in the
village. He would invariably be either a big landowner, or an otherwise
powerful man, e g, by virtue of his closeness to the ruler of the area. From
about the time that the word reddy started signifying a caste and not just
hereditary headmanship, it is seen that in most cases, the challenger is
also a reddy by caste, though there have been important exceptions,
especially where the militant boya community is numerous. That man would
gather a group of villagers behind him and fight the group of the ‘reddy’.
The people to gather behind him would include, of course, his kith and kin,
his tenants and sharecroppers; it would include persons who have suffered at
the hands of the ‘reddy’; it would also include persons who have conflicts
of interest or ego with the followers of the ‘reddy’; it would even include
people who are obliged to the challenger for their day to day life or
livelihood, even to the extent of people who, by virtue of the village
topography, have to pass by his house or fields to reach their own house or

Once such a challenger emerges, or in the course of his emergence, street
fights between the two groups break out at every conceivable instance. The
slightest material interest of every member of the group has to be protected
or realised by force, and the slightest injury to every ego has to be
avenged by force. But everything turns around the primary interest: the
leader’s pre-eminence in the village, his honour, his writ, his word. For
this, lives are sacrificed in a spiral of killings. Every death has to be
avenged with a death, every burnt house or haystack with a burnt house or
haystack, and every devastated acre of land with a devastated acre. The
implements of fighting in the old days were stones, sticks, and every
implement made by the human race for taming nature and making it yield
fruit. It was after the 1950s that crude explosives, crude firearms and
lately more sophisticated weapons entered village factions. It is an
interesting aside that at each stage it was the communists that were, in all
innocence, responsible for modernising the weaponry of faction fights.

The village factionist of yore, as can be imagined, was hardly an epitome of
rationality. By the time he was through with his energies he would also be
through with much of the property he had: it costs a lot to fight court
cases, look after injured followers, repair burnt down dwellings and replace
hacked orchards, all to keep his manly pride and moustaches intact. But
after the introduction of panchayat raj democracy and rural development
works, the brutality of village factions acquired the sheen of instrumental
rationality. It was quickly realised by the village factionists that the
methods used by them to protect the elusive social prominence or importance,
could be put to more practical use for rigging polls and winning panchayat
elections at the village or block level, and monopolising road and other
public works contracts in the village. This started earnestly in the 1960s.

The next and natural step was for a leader to emerge from among the village
factionists of an area or from a town nearby, who would gather support of
all the powerful factionists of the area, create factionists to fight the
recalcitrant, assist the faithful in defeating their rivals, protect their
crimes and make it worth their while to indulge in crimes of violence on his
account in addition to theirs, and make that the base of his rise in
politics at the district level and beyond, and the guarantee of a monopoly
of not small or local public works but substantial civil contracts. It took
a new generation of men to see this possibility and realise it. YSR was one
of the pioneers of this change, which  has terrorised and devastated the
social and political life of the Rayalaseema districts.

*Communists as Catalysts *

The communists played a peculiar catalyst’s role in all this. The undivided
Communist Party of India (CPI) had some base in the Rayalaseema districts.
Its leader Eswara Reddy was elected MP from Cuddapah on four occasions
starting with the first parliament. It fought – or sought to fight – feudal
domination in the villages, but had to contend with the culture of village
factions. The communists, from that day to this, have unfortunately
understood factionism as merely a rather violent form of feudal domination,
which may only require a more violent response, and nothing more. That
village factions divide all classes in the village vertically, from absentee
landlords to the poorest labourers, which vertical division is accompanied
by a degree of felt loyalty to the factionist at the top, thereby
reproducing the animosity at the top all the way down the line, and that
such a state of affairs is seen as the natural ordering of society by all
classes, has never been adequately understood by them.

And so when the communists found it difficult to organise the masses to
fight a feudal landlord, they encouraged and supported any upstart who was
willing to challenge the landlord’s dominance. All that they achieved was to
create a new factionist, who would discard the communists once his purpose
was done. Pulivendula was dominated in the early years after independence by
Devireddy Nagi Reddy (known as D N Reddy), a somewhat haughty landlord, mill
owner, some time zilla parishad chairman, and some time MP. YSR’s father
Raja Reddy was willing to take on D N Reddy, and the CPI assisted him by
helping him to win the block level panchayat elections. Today, the CPI has
all but left the district, but Raja Reddy’s legacy continues in the form of
his powerful son.

Raja Reddy established his credentials as a man to fear by an incident that
people still talk of, nearly 50 years later. The town of Pulivendula has a
sizable colony of Erukalas, a scheduled tribe, some of whom were known for
their unruly ways. They were despised but feared by the higher castes,
though it is rumoured that D N Reddy was not above using their crimes for
his ends. One day one of them, Oosanna, tried to steal the ornaments worn by
a woman of the reddy caste in the bazaar. When the woman struggled, that man
cleverly exclaimed that she was his wife and was being disobedient. By the
time people realised he was telling a lie, he had slipped away. Later in the
day, Raja Reddy reportedly caught hold of Oosanna, dragged him to a public
place, poured kerosene on him and burnt him alive. This incident made Raja
Reddy a feared man, and people became willing to gather behind him in his
conflicts with established leaders. By and by he established immense
dominance in the area.

But he lacked money of the kind that would sustain his further rise in
politics. This problem was resolved by a combination of chance and brutality
just about the time that YSR entered politics. Cuddapah has deposits of the
mineral barytes, which was once upon a time not a highly priced mineral. One
of the mining leases was held by Venkatasubbaiah of the balija caste. Raja
Reddy joined him as a junior partner/supervisor (it is not clear which),
reportedly because Venkatasubbaiah believed he would be useful in
controlling the workmen. Round about the mid-1970s, however, it was
discovered that barytes has use in petroleum refining, and its price shot
up. Raja Reddy wanted Venkatasubbaiah to hand over the mining lease to him
and go. A prominent CPI leader and writer, Gajjela Malla Reddy, brokered a
deal whereby Venkatasubbaiah would take Rs 11 lakh and leave the mining
lease to Raja Reddy. Venkatasubbaiah refused, and was killed. The mining
lease, passed into YSR’s hands.

For many years in the later half of the 1980s and the early half of the
1990s, YSR’s barytes mining operation was the subject of one scandal after
another. Lease – or sub- lease, after barytes mining became formally the
monopoly of the A P Mineral Development Corporation, only to be sub-leased
to the same previous lessees – would be taken for a certain extent, but many
times more land around would be mined. Even a piece of land on which stood a
protected monument so notified by the Archaeological Survey of India was
mined, and one and a half lakh tonnes of the mineral (priced at Rs 600 per
tonne) was taken away by the time the government woke up and put a stop to
it. And there was the case of a villager, Vivekanandam, whose private land
of 1.8 acres was also sub-leased to YSR by the Corporation. Though that man
went to court and obtained an injunction against the sub-lease, YSR
continued with the mining and took away mineral worth Rs 5 crore. The
maternal uncle of the said Vivekanandam, a retired government employee,
Rajagopal, set out to Hyderabad, to express his protest to the then chief
minister Janardhan Reddy, and to move the high court again. The old man was
set upon by a gang in the middle of the state’s capital, and had his hands
and legs broken. This was as recently as 1992.

With the money flowing from the barytes mines in his pockets, YSR was in a
position to undertake the transformation of ‘village factions’ into
full-fledged instruments of political and economic domination at the highest
level. There were others of his period – the post-emergency breed of
educated, intelligent and utterly cynical politicians – who made money from
other sources, such as for instance excise contracts, and used that wealth
in the same manner as YSR to rise to prominence in Rayalaseema politics. The
money was used to buy the support of village factionists. The factionist
would be helped to overcome his rivals and establish unchallenged power over
his area of operation. If a factionist was too adamant and did not heed the
call, a rival would be funded to rise against him. A lot of lives would of
course be lost in the process, but then that was, for these gentlemen, a
matter of no moment. Once a sufficient monopoly of control over the local
factionists was established, the leader’s political-economic future was
ensured. Elections would be concluded in his favour, and his muscle-power
would ensure that he monopolised all the civil/excise contracts he coveted.
This sounds bland when stated in this fashion, but the process involved
tremendous amount of violence and inaugurated a veritable regime of terror
in the area.

*Manipulation of Election Process *

Political parties and programmes have meant nothing in Rayalaseema, more
particularly Cuddapah district. The only distinction in that district has
been: with YSR and against YSR. Those who are with him can be in his party
or in any other party – not excluding the CPI – and similarly those who are
against him. On more than one occasion he has exhibited his capacity to
ensure that a candidate to the assembly from his own party who has got a
ticket against his will is defeated by a candidate of his choice contesting
on a Telugu Desam ticket. Elections in Rayalaseema have meant open violence
on polling day to scare away voters and leave the field open to bogus
voting, taking away the ballot box to stuff it with ballot papers stamped
elsewhere, preventing voters of the rival candidate from entering the
polling station, forcing voters to show the stamped ballot paper to the
local factionist’s man before putting it in the box, and other acts of like

Until recently, a rule followed by the Election Commission was that in the
event of death of any candidate, the election would be postponed. Killing
defenceless candidates to get the poll postponed is a method not unknown in
the more violent parts of our country. Rayalaseema is no exception. In the
assembly polls of 1989, YSR’s follower Nagi Reddy fought the Telugu Desam’s
Palakondarayudu at Raychoti in Cuddapah district. In the parliament polls of
1985, Palakondarayudu, who was then a candidate for parliament, was unsure
of the support of the two main local factions that ruled Raychoti town. So
he is said to have got an independent candidate, Guvvala Subbarayudu killed
and got the election postponed. He thus gained time to rope in the two
factions, and succeeded in winning the election held later. In 1989, polls
were held simultaneously for assembly and parliament. Palakondarayudu was
this time a candidate for the assembly. Apprehensive that he may repeat his
victorious performance, YSR’s man Nagi Reddy set up a pliant man of their
own faction, Avula Subba Reddy by name, as an independent candidate, and
allegedly killed him the day before the election to get the election to the
assembly postponed. It is inconceivable that this could have happened
without the knowledge and consent of YSR. In the parliament poll that took
place that day as scheduled, there was an orgy of violence in which five
persons were killed in Raychoti town including a polling officer by name
Ahmedullah. The polling officer was dragged out of the polling station and
murdered. The Congress candidate was elected to parliament. The terror
created by YSR’s group on that day was sufficient for his candidate Nagi
Reddy to carry the day when the assembly poll for the postponed Raychoti
segment was later held.

Parallel with establishing themselves in power by such means, these leaders
set themselves up as representatives of the region who would fight the
rulers of the state for justice to water-scarce Rayalaseema. It has been the
tragedy of Rayalaseema that, unlike Telangana for instance which has a
vibrant political climate that throws up activists close to the people, the
same leaders who have devastated the region’s social and political life with
their strategies of gang warfare have time and again doubled as saviours of
the people. But as their interest is merely the furtherance of their
political careers, such espousal is short-lived and fruitless.

For about three to four years in the early part of the 1980s, these leaders
led major agitations for irrigation water to the region. They held lengthy
‘padayatras’ and boisterous protest meetings. YSR was among those in the
forefront. But their interest tapered off once they succeeded in putting
pressure upon N T Rama Rao to sanction the extension of the Telugu Ganga
project to provide irrigation water to parts of Cuddapah district. Later,
the Congress came to power in the state, and many of the agitators became
ministers, but they did precious little for the irrigation needs they had
agitated for. Subsequently the Telugu Desam Party came back to power again,
but this time YSR took care not to be seen agitating for the rights of one
region. He had aimed his sights higher. He would dislodge Chandrababu and
become chief minister of the state. Power, and power alone has been his
guiding light, at each stage of his career, much like Chandrababu. Given the
peculiar nature of Rayalaseema society, brute force served YSR’s purpose in
the initial stages, much as unscrupulous manipulation did in Chandrababu’s
case. But once he set his sights on Hyderabad, he knew that other methods
would have to be tried out, and he has been game for that.

He worked quite systematically towards this end and has succeeded. In the
process he has given the impression of being a man who cares for the classes
neglected by Chandrababu’s model of development. Whether that is really so
is, to put it politely, extremely doubtful. That those classes have reposed
trust in the Congress Party under his leadership is clear: all analysis as
well as impressionistic views point to the issues of irrigation and
employment as central to the defeat of the Telugu Desam Party, augmented by
the desire for a separate state in the Telangana region. Economists too are
agreed that poor growth of employment opportunities, and poor capital
formation in agriculture, the latter mainly because of low public
investment, are two among the negative characteristics of the Indian
economy’s performance in recent years. Too categorical an analysis of
voters’ preferences is a risky business, but it appears reasonable to
suppose that the dissatisfaction generated by these factors lies behind the
victory of the Congress. YSR realised it in the course of his pre-election
padayatra which brought him face to face with much dissatisfaction regarding
issues on which – barring free power to farmers – he had never taken any
stand till then. Having realised his debt to the dissatisfaction, he has
already gone on record promising heavy investment in major irrigation
projects, and free power to farmers, which will encourage private investment
to the same end. If he has not issued any immediate policy statements in the
matter of employment, that will be declared to be understandable because it
is by no means an easy matter. And as for Telangana, YSR has made no secret
of the fact that he has neither any understanding of nor sympathy for that

But it is doubtful that he has any real convictions in regard to the first
two issues too, other than the realisation that they have been useful
instruments in his ascension to power. If freedom to all prisoners were to
serve that purpose, he would equally readily have emptied all the State’s
jails, without holding any philosophy of punishment commensurate with the
act. These may appear to be points not worth labouring at length, and it may
even be cleverly said, as the Hindi saying goes, that we are concerned that
the fruit be a mango, and not that the tree be a mango tree.

But if correcting economic policy distortions is what the aspirations
revealed by the elections are about, we must note that change in irrigation
policy from Chandrababu’s exclusive espousal of drip irrigation to a more
realistic programme is not sufficient by itself. Such change is not by
itself inimical to the ruling policies being prescribed in the name of
reforms. The whole gamut of the policies concerning resources, opportunities
and governmental responsibilities will have to be addressed, even if they
have not been voted about in bringing YSR to power. There is little evidence
that YSR is committed to a different view of these matters than Chandrababu,
or that he is willing to devise ways of standing up to the pressure that the
World Bank and other instrumentalities of neo-liberalism have been exerting
in these matters. Much of what he is now heard saying against Chandrababu’s
brand of  neo-liberal economic philosophy he picked up in the run up to the
elections, and was never part of his way of looking at the economy.

It is also to be noted that the forces distorting India’s economy to serve a
variety of external interests inimical to those of the poor and needy, have
not been content with prescribing any transparent economic policy
imperatives at all to suit their ends. They have indulged in a number of
devious measures behind the backs of the people, with the active connivance
of the rulers. Chandrababu was a willing collaborator in this, and YSR is
not proof against it. The economic philosophy ruling the world, namely that
resources, opportunities and governmental assistance of all kinds are
optimally distributed when they are put unreservedly at the service of those
who can augment them with the most investment and generate from them the
most income, is easily understood when it is plainly stated, and easily
dissented from if one has the slightest conviction that progress should be
everybody’s progress, not at some unspecified date in the future, but with
reasonable immediacy. But that policy prescription has not been content with
such transparent debates. It has sought to work itself into our polity by
opaque devices and has succeeded wherever it has found local collaborators
among those in power. Those who believe that YSR will resist where
Chandrababu was willing are fooling themselves.

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