Even as the stage is set for Anantapur Congress strongman J.C. Diwakar Reddy and his family to join the Telugu Desam, the main Opposition party is finding itself in an embarrassing situation due to apprehensions expressed by leaders, associated with the party since long, over their prospects.
Following the large-scale migrations, a section of party leaders in the Seemandhra region is doubtful whether their loyalty to the TDP will pay off in the form of tickets. These leaders have a genuine cause of concern as the leaders who are switching loyalties are joining the TDP with an eye on particular Assembly and Lok Sabha seats notwithstanding claims that their joining the TDP was “unconditional.”
Admission of leaders and switching loyalties from other parties to keep their political prospects alive are likely to adversely impact the TDP’s prospects in the elections.
“Denial of tickets to these migrants may lead to uncomfortable position as there is every scope for them to work against the official nominee,” a senior leader said.
Moreover, leaders are wondering how the party was sure of bringing in the cohesion by admitting leaders against whom the TDP rank and file had fought for the past one decade at a crucial time like this when the party is gearing up for the all important elections.
While the differences between Paritala family and JC family are all too well known, senior TDP leader Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu openly raised objections to the entry of former Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao and his supporters.
The situation is no different in the Lok Sabha seats.
Narsaraopet MP M. Venugopal Reddy has asserted that he would not compromise on his re-nomination from the Lok Sabha constituency amid reports that Rayapati Sambasiva Rao who is joining the TDP would be fielded from there. Mr. Sambasiva Rao is being vacated from the Guntur seat as industrialist-turned-politician Galla Jaydev has been assured the Guntur seat.
Senior leaders claim that the leaders switching over loyalties are bound to carry the anti-incumbency factor at least to some measure that could affect the party’s prospects. TDP polit bureau member and senior leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, however, made light of the apprehensions claiming that the anti-incumbency factor on account of bifurcation would work against the Congress as a whole and not at the individual level.
“People are against the Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi for bifurcation of the State and this ire is not targeted against individuals,” he told The Hindu.