In a strategic move by tacitly supporting bifurcation of the State, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has not only stunned its arch-rivals, but seems to have transformed the bruised image of the party in Telangana.
Giving credit to the TDP leadership for achieving political one-upmanship in the region in spite of not stating unequivocally, political pundits say the TDP has turned out to be the main beneficiary of the all-party meeting on Telangana held by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde at New Delhi on Friday.
From a situation where protests marred TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s padayatra in the region, the stand taken by the party at the meeting paved the way for a trouble-free walkathon in Warangal, the hotbed of Telangana movement.
He also received plaudits from Telangana Congress leaders, who were Mr. Naidu’s severest critics till the other day.
The strategy has enabled Mr. Naidu to kill two birds with one shot. The second one is that he has countered criticism from the Congress and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The latter had threatened to obstruct the padayatra if the TDP failed to give clarity on the issue.
“The TRS leadership is stumped by our party’s opinion given at the all-party meeting and unable to think what to do it has given call for bandh in the region,” TDP Rajya Sabha member T. Devender Goud said.
Asked how the letter would benefit the party in Telangana when it lacked clarity, a senior party leader said it had given partymen an opportunity to tell people that they were in favour of Telangana and it was for the ruling party to take decision. “We can counter our political rivals confidently,” the senior legislator said.
However, a few party leaders from Seemandhra region were wary about the implications of the letter.
“Though we did not specify we are in favour of Telangana directly, our party’s letter gives such an impression, at least to our rivals,” a polit bureau member Kalva Srinivasulu said. “We can’t face youth, students and intellectuals confidently now,” he added.