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Devender Goud quits Telugu Desam Party

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Turning point: T. Devender Goud, senior Telugu Desam Party leader, seeks his mother’s blessings at his Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad on Monday.
Turning point: T. Devender Goud, senior Telugu Desam Party leader, seeks his mother’s blessings at his Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad on Monday.

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The crisis in Telugu Desam over Telangana deepened on Monday when two senior leaders from the region, T. Devender Goud and E. Peddi Reddy, resigned from the party.

Mr. Goud who is considered number two in the party, a polit bureau member and Deputy Leader of the Telugu Desam Legislature Party, went a step further and resigned from the Assembly too saying he would now devote his time and energy to the formation of a separate Telangana state.

Other senior leaders, Kadiam Srihari and Ch. Rajeswara Rao who openly supported Mr. Goud were expected to follow suit but deferred their decision to a later date.

Though Mr. Goud did not spell out his future course of action, his supporters and Mr. Peddi Reddy threw enough hints to the effect that they could float a new political party for achieving Telangana. The party would be all-encompassing having pan-Telangana appeal and take all sections into its fold.

Clearly, the objective appears to be to capitalise on the perceived loss of credibility of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leadership and failure of Congress and Telugu Desam to take a separate Telangana stand.

Mr. Goud kept the media and his supporters waiting for over five hours at his Banjara Hills residence before emerging out at around 4 p.m to make a brief speech. Amidst slogan shouting by his supporters, he declared that he would henceforth fight for the cause of Telangana and that in a democracy one has to respect the wishes and sentiments of the people.

‘Second rate citizens’

He said he had to leave TDP with a heavy heart, a party that gave birth to his long political career. He had joined the party with the blessings of its founder NTR and the people. He would seek the people’s blessings again for achieving separate Telangana. “I cannot be oblivious to the injustice meted to the region and the people’s aspirations and the way they are reduced to second rate citizens,” he said. Mr. Peddi Reddy too spoke on similar lines.

But Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu who is on “Mee Kosam yatra” in Srikakulam remained unfazed when he stated that the party was more important than individuals. He is believed to have spoken to Mr. Goud not to press for his resignation but the latter appeared unrelenting. Other TDP leaders too followed in his footsteps, making light of the two leaders quitting the party.

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