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Updated: May 2, 2014 23:27 IST

It’s a tough going for Buddha Prasad in Avanigadda

J. R. Shridharan
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With many failing to digest his ‘betrayal’ to Congress and followers joining YSRC, Buddha Prasad is fighting the poll battle with his back to the wall

The Mandali clan has been synonymous with the Congress for many decades and especially the family has been sailing with the party both in the good and bad times in Avanigadda – a place known for agriculture and aquaculture.

However, Congress-initiated bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh has changed political equation here, forcing veteran Congressman and former Minister Mandali Budda Prasad to call it quits and join hands with the Telugu Desam Party. He even managed to get the ticket to contest from the Avanigadda Assembly constituency. But Mr. Buddha Prasad is fighting this electoral battle with his back to the wall for many voters are yet to digest his betrayal to the Congress and most of his followers have left him in lurch and joined the YSR Congress.

Power game

For both seasoned politicians and chroniclers of politics, his joining the yellow brigade was unpalatable for he was known for his uprightness and values. “As a die-hard integrationist, he should have joined the Jai Smaikyandhra Party, which was floated to fight for the unified Andhra Pradesh with former Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at the helm of affairs. He (Mr. Buddha Prasad) knows that by joining the Jai Samaikyandhra Party he can’t prosper as a politician. He is power conscious politician and can’t live it,” opined Avala Maruti, a former Congress leader.

Mr. Buddha Prasad joined the TDP when there was a wave in favour of the party during the municipal and panchayat elections. However, post TDP-BJP alliance, the YSRC has gained the edge. With his followers and vote bank drifting to YSRC, the 57-year-old Kapu leader now is on the back foot for he has also alienated the Muslim votes.

Dissidence from within

The TDP cadre is also not happy at the party high command’s decision to ignore sitting MLA Ambati Srihari Prasad, son of late Telugu Desam leader Ambati Brahmanaiah, who contested and won the by-election after his father’s death. The followers of Mr. Ambati are apparently seething with anger and in no mood to support Mr. Budda Prasad, who is considered an outsider. He is also having tough time in cooling the TDP dissident, Kantamaneni Ravishankar, who filed nomination as a rebel candidate before opting out of the race. He is also facing the heat from YSRCP candidate Simhadri Ramesh and also giving him nightmares is the Congress candidate Mathi Srinivasa Rao.

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