In the wake of defeat in the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu’s hitherto unquestioned leadership of the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) is being questioned.
T Srinivas Yadav, former minister in Naidu’s government, publicly asked the 59-year-old former chief minister on Thursday to step down as party chief, claiming his decision to go with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in the polls was a major error of judgement.
“Despite knowing the TRS had no credibility left, Naidu chose to join hands with it and support a separate Telangana state,” he said. “The TDP was much better off when it opposed Telangana.”
Earlier, N Prasanna Kumar Reddy, a four-time MLA from Nellore district, was suspended from the TDP after he wrote an open letter to Naidu, asking him to step down owning moral responsibility for the defeat.
Reddy even charged that Naidu was a prisoner in the hands of five industrialists —whom he named — and were responsible for the party’s defeat. The TDP won just six of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats and 91 of the 294 assembly seats.
At a poll performance review meeting on Thursday, Naidu accused the ruling Congress of instigating the revolt. “The Congress wants to weaken the opposition,” he said.