Why AP CM was not invited to Trump’s Banquet?

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The controversy surrounding the invitations extended to the selective Chief Ministers to attend the banquet organised in honour of the US President Donald Trump refused to subside even after 48 hours since he left the country.

It has turned a hot topic even for TV channels, youtube and few publications especially in Telugu states as to why the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy was not invited to the ‘prestigious banquet with global leader’ and why Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao was invited for the same.

The Centre invited just eight chief ministers who included Navin Patnaik of Odisha, Sarbanand Sonawal of Assam, Palaniswamy of Tamil Nadu, Yedurappa of Karnataka, Uddav Thackarey of Maharastra, Manoharlal Khattar of Haryana, Nitish Kumar of Bihar and last but not the least Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao from Telangana.

Predictably, this gave room for Modi’s opponents to make wild allegations for not inviting his arch political rivals such as Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Pinarayi Vijayan besides none from the Congress-ruled states. This caused heart-burning among Congress which accused Modi of completely avoiding Congress with malafide intentions.

The fact, however, remains different in selecting the states for the banquet. BJP leaders claim that the selection was not in their hands as White House decides the number of invitees. But whom to invite will rest with the central government. Political analysts say that each of the invitees had some or the other kind of US links with their states either directly or indirectly.

“As for Telangana and Karnataka are concerned, KCR and Yedurappa were invited because over a dozen US-owned companies are stationed both in Hyderabad ad Bangaluru. They include IT and Pharmaceutical companies and from other fields”, said Venkata Chalapathy, a political analyst.

However, a local Cong leader questioned as to what US connection does Odisha has so that has necessitated the Centre to invite its Chief Minister? And similarly, a YSRCP leader opined that his Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy should have been invited considering his recent proximity with the ruling BJP at the Centre. Two-days ago YS Jagan had an hour-long meeting the Prime Minister Narendra Modi which prompted even the pundits to predict YS Jagan’s likely joining the ruling NDA. “Had he been invited, the state’s image would have been elevated”, opined a YSRCP leader.

Countering this, former AP CM Chandrababu Naidu claimed that AP has no such opportunity as its CM Jaganmohan Reddy had tarnished the state’s image with his decision to change the capital at the international level. Hence, “it is difficult to attract any investment”, he said and recollected how he had boasted the state’s image during former US President Bill Clinton’s tour to Andhra Pradesh.

However, there is a common feeling that CM had failed to build an image of his own for his state outside in the backdrop of his controversial decisions regarding Capital shifting from Amaravathi to Vizag, decentralisation of capital and abolition of Legislative Council etc. However, in the absence of any official explanation from the ruling YSRCP government on this issue, the grapevine on the issue continued to rule the roost in Andhra Pradesh.