The rebellion in Andhra Pradesh that has put Congress in a crisis can turn out to be a blessing for Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
Naidu’s popularity plummeted after the emergence of YS Rajasekhara Reddy in 2004 when he led the Congress to victory in the assembly elections.
YSR consolidated his position by churning out one popular scheme after another to overshadow Naidu’s model of governance. These included a free health insurance programme for the poor, free power for farmers, pensions and scholarships for needy students.
All this contributed to YSR leading the Congress to a comeback in the 2009 assembly polls.
Now, with the power struggle on between the two Reddys — Jaganmohan and Kiran Kumar — set to intensify and weaken the Congress, Naidu can hope to reap benefits, a political analyst said.
But the task for Naidu is not going to be easy, given the gamut of issues he will have to contend with — the Telangana statehood demand, the Praja Rajyam party factor and Naidu’s need to rebuild his credibility.
“(The situation) certainly provides an opportunity to go more to the public, exposing the groupism in the Congress and Delhi-driven politics,” MV Mysura Reddy, TDP MP and politburo member said.