N Chandrababu Naidu, "CEO CM" And Coalition Kingmaker, Is Back And How!

This is the second time Naidu has helped the BJP-led NDA form the government at the Centre.

Elections Written by Updated: Jun 12, 2024, 2:54 pm
N Chandrababu Naidu,

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu is back in the saddle. The “CEO CM”, a sobriquet he earned for making Hyderabad India’s answer to Silicon Valley, took oath as Andhra Chief Minister for the fourth time today, following his party’s thumping victory in the Assembly elections, securing 135 out of 175 seats.

The TDP also positioned itself as kingmaker, after the BJP failed to secure a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha election. This is the second time Naidu has helped the BJP-led NDA form the government at the Centre.

How It Started

The 74-year-old’s political journey spans over four decades, starting as a Congress MLA in 1978 when he was just 28, and later becoming a cabinet minister. His alliance with the influential film star Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, or NTR, led to his switch from the Congress to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), founded by NTR. He went on to marry NTR’s daughter Bhuvaneswari.

Naidu eventually staged the infamous coup to become party chief and the CM of Andhra Pradesh in 1995, a position he held for two terms. In 2014, he became the first Chief Minister of the newly formed Andhra Pradesh.

However, Naidu faced a humiliating defeat in 2019 when his party lost to the Jagan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party. Various factors, including public discontent over the state’s bifurcation, anti-incumbency sentiments, the rapid ascent of YS Jaganmohan Reddy contributed to this defeat. Then the TDP’s decision to break away from the NDA alliance in 2018 over the Special Category status for Andhra Pradesh further impacted its electoral prospects.

Following his 2019 setback, Naidu encountered a series of challenges. His TDP faced corruption allegations related to the Skill Development Corporation scam, leading to Naidu’s arrest in September 2023. This event severely impacted his image, previously associated with development and welfare initiatives.

However, despite these setbacks, factors such as anti-incumbency, uncertainty surrounding the state capital, absence of Special Category status, and perceived lack of development in recent years, coupled with an alliance with the NDA, contributed to Naidu and the TDP’s return to power.

Reddy’s electoral loss is being attributed to issues like infrastructure deficiencies, corruption, unemployment, inflation, erratic power supply, and the state’s heavy debt burden resulting from various welfare programs, giving Naidu an opportunity to fix the wrongs.


Naidu, known as the ‘CEO CM’, earned recognition for transforming Hyderabad into a technology hub. He famously convinced Bill Gates for a Microsoft’s office in the city. The Microsoft India Development Centre was set up in Hyderabad in 1998. Under his leadership, Hyderabad underwent a remarkable metamorphosis, transitioning from an agricultural state’s administrative hub to a flourishing centre for technology and pharmaceutical industries, rivaling Bangalore.

His governance style, reminiscent of private corporations, earned him the monikers ‘CEO CM’ or ‘Cyber CM’. Serving as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 2014 until 2019, Naidu envisioned the development of a new capital, Amaravati, for the newly formed Andhra Pradesh. However, this ambitious project remained incomplete following his defeat to YSRCP leader Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The Comeback

After his release on bail after nearly two months in jail in connection with the Skill Development Corporation scam case last year, Naidu formed a coalition with the Jana Sena Party and the BJP for the simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh. His alliance’s resounding victory in the assembly polls, coupled with the TDP’s win in 16 Lok Sabha seats, marked his resurgence as a prominent political figure that can’t be ignored.