Hyderabad: The Telangana statehood issue is
taking a heavy toll on principal opposition Telugu Desam Party
in Andhra Pradesh.
The party has so far lost seven MLAs in Telangana in the
last one and a half year, a direct impact of the ongoing
agitation for a separate state.
The main reason for the legislators` exit from Telugu
Desam, which hitherto used to be a potent force in Telangana,
was the growing hostility towards the party in the region
because of its "ambivalent" stand on the statehood demand.
Besides, TDP legislators were also facing the heat from
the Telangana protagonists who, at times, went to the extent
of attacking and ransacking the MLAs` residences besides
indulging in other protests.
The separatist Telangana Rashtra Samiti was in the
forefront of the attacks on TDP MLAs in many a case. In 2009,
the TDP won 39 MLA seats in Telangana region but now the
number has fallen to 32.
Political analysts point out that the TDP has lost ground
completely in Telangana in the last two years because of its
flip-flops on the separate state demand. The by-elections to
12 Assembly seats in Telangana last year were a clear
reflection to TDP’s lost eminence in the region, they aver.
Hence, to safeguard their political future, the MLAs were
leaving TDP in quick succession, the analysts add.
Chennamaneni Ramesh, MLA from Vemulawada in Karimnagar
district, was the first to quit TDP in February last year
protesting its indecisiveness on the statehood issue. He
joined the TRS and got re-elected to the Assembly in the
by-elections in August last.
Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy, MLA from Banswada in Nizamabad
district, was the next to follow and leave the TDP in March
this year. He also resigned from the state Assembly demanding
creation of Telangana state.
Now in the TRS, Pocharam is seeking re-election from his
home constituency in the by-election slated for October 13.
The TDP had to suspend senior legislator and former
minister Nagam Janardhana Reddy of Nagarkurnool in Mahbubnagar
district after he publicly lashed out at the party chief N
Chandrababu Naidu on the statehood issue.
However, Nagam didn’t go alone and he took three more TD
MLAs out of the party along with him. Two MLAs S
Venugopalachari and Jogu Ramanna of Adilabad district and
another K Harishwar Reddy of Ranga Reddy joined hands with
Nagam and floated a new outfit Telangana Nagara Samiti to
fight for Telangana state.
Today, Gampa Govardhan, MLA from Kamareddy in Nizamabad
district, severed ties with the TDP and joined the TRS.
Now, there is growing anxiety in the TDP ranks over the
possibility of some more legislators leaving the party in view
of the growing hostilities.
"TRS president is intimidating our MLAs to quit the party
or face consequences. That’s why some MLAs are joining the
TRS," Telugu Desam Telangana Forum convenor Errabilli Dayakar
The MLAs` exodus issue came up for discussion between
Chandrababu Naidu and leaders of TTDF the other day but the
party president reportedly remarked that he had always been
clear on the statehood issue.
"Nothing is in our hands...it is for the government of
India to take a decision on the Telangana issue," was
reportedly the former Chief Minister`s refrain. But, its the
TDP that is currently suffering the damage.