Telugu Desam Party is not averse to taking Congress leaders into its fold provided they have good track record, party president N. Chandrababu Naidu said.
Mr. Naidu said several Congress leaders were mulling joining the TDP as the Congress leadership went ahead with the bifurcation of the State at the expense of Seemandhra region. “There is no clarity. There is no mention of resources or the capital. The Congress did not even consult its own leaders, leave alone stakeholders, and went ahead with the bifurcation,” he said.
He was addressing a meeting organised in connection with joining of former Minister Galla Aruna Kumari, her industrialist son Galla Jayadev and several leaders from Chittoor district, in the TDP here on Saturday. Mr. Jayadev’s candidature from the Guntur Lok Sabha seat has almost been cleared with Mr. Naidu announcing that the former would commence his work in the constituency from Sunday.
The TDP president asserted that the people were vexed with the Congress’ ‘misrule’ that was marked with a spate of corruption scandals and were looking at an opportunity to overthrow the government.
The party was banking on the support of the TRS in Telangana and YSR Congress in Seemandhra region to cover up its failures.
The countdown for the elections has started with polls to municipal, mandal and district local bodies slated to be held later this month. “The TDP should win all the 25 seats in the Seemandhra region where development has to start from the scratch and the number will ensure that we will have a say at the national level,” he said.
He said YSR Congress president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy has indulged in so many irregularities that the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate were surprised at its magnitude. Mr. Jagan was, however, speaking about values in politics. “He mortgaged Telugus’ self respect to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and secured bail,” he said.
Ms. Aruna Kumari said she had decided to sever her family’s relationship with the Congress, running into three generations, protesting the arbitrary manner in which the party went ahead with State bifurcation.
The developments in the recent past “deeply hurt her feelings” and it was the Congress that sent committed leaders out of the party.
Meanwhile, senior Congress MLA G. Kutuhalamma called on Mr. Naidu at his residence late on Saturday evening, but what transpired in the meeting was not known. The TDP president has announced appointment of M. Kishan Reddy as president of the party’s Ranga Reddy unit.