Advantage TDP as Balija vote may split
The entry of the wife and son of former Chittoor MP D.K. Audikesavulu Naidu into the TDP has unnerved the YSR Congress leadership in the district.
Audikesavulu Naidu’s widow Satyaprabha, along with her son D.A. Srinivas, had joined the TDP in presence of party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu in Hyderabad on Monday night. The latter’s son Nara Lokesh was said to have been instrumental in cementing a deal with DK’s family members during a function held in Bangalore a couple of days ago.
Their entry into the TDP has assumed much political significance in the district, with leaders of all parties admitting that the development would be a blow to the YSRC, as it would polarise the dominant Balija community votes in favour of the TDP. When D.A. Srinivas contested as the Praja Rajyam candidate from the Rajampet Lok Sabha constituency in 2009, he had obtained over 1.8 lakh votes.
Going by the present political scenario in the district, Ms. Satyaprabha is most likely to contest from the Chittoor Assembly constituency, while the name of her son is also doing the rounds in party circles. Though district TDP chief Jangalapalle Srinivasulu has claimed the ticket from Chittoor, his candidature is facing stiff opposition from the Kamma community, while there is a division in the Balija community.Deterring CK
TDP cadre observe that Satyaprabha’s candidature would surely prevent the surge of former Congress MLA C.K. Babu, who is likely to contest as an independent in the coming Assembly elections.
Other than Chittoor, the D.K. family, which controls a massive industrial empire, wields substantial political clout in Rayalaseema and parts of Karnataka. After the demise of Audikesavulu Naidu in April 2013, the family had stayed away from active politics, only to resurface now.
At the time of his demise, Audikesavulu Naidu was in the Congress, but opted out of active politics after he was denied the TTD chairmanship post for the second time.
Meanwhile, former MLA and YSRC Chittoor coordinator A.S. Manohar, a Balija leader, told The Hindu that the entry of DK’s family members into the TDP would not split the Balija vote.