The way Union water resources minister Nitin Gadkari rejected the proposal of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to replace contracting firm Transstroy owned by Narsaraopet MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao for the prestigious Polavaram project came as a big surprise to political observers.
Everybody knows Transstroy has miserably failed to execute the project and could not even complete the earth work.
With tension mounting on his head, Naidu decided to cancel the agreement with Transstroy and divide the remaining work into two packages to be given to two different firms so that work can be completed fast.
But Rayapati is understood to have made serious lobbying with the Centre and approached even Prime Minister Narendra Modi discreetly.
He is said to have complained to Modi against Naidu for deliberately targeting him and trying to award the contracts to his own close associates Megha Engineering and C M Ramesh.
One does not know how exactly Rayapati had influenced the centre, but Gadkari categorically told Naidu that the original contractor cannot be dropped.
A visibly jolted Naidu went all the way to Nagpur on his way to Chicago and tried to convince Gadkari about the change of contractor.
Let us see who will have the last laugh – Naidu or Rayapati.