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Telangana divides TDP

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu is now facing the prospect of a split in his party on the Telangana issue.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2009 23:42 IST
Prasad Nichenametla

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu is now facing the prospect of a split in his party on the Telangana issue.

Ironically, he had fought the Lok Sabha and assembly elections of 2009 on the promise of supporting a separate state of Telangana.

Now with his party MLAs (21 on Tuesday) from the coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema resigning in protest against the Centre’s decision of introducing a Bill in favour of a separate state, Naidu faces a revolt in the rank and file.

This comes after his successive electoral defeats in 2004 and 2009.

Traditionally the TDP has been against splitting the state and was against the idea in 2004.

“In contrast with the Congress, which has the luxury of speaking in multiple voices, in the TDP what Naidu says reverberates in the party and the public. Compared with the Congress, which managed to steer clear of a stand, Naidu was seen as (vacillating) on the Telangana issue,” K. Nageshwar, professor of journalism, Osmania University, and a political analyst, told Hindustan Times.

An MLA from Krishna district (280 km east of Hyderabad), Deveneni Umamaheswar Rao, and an MLA from Anantapur (300 km south of Hyderabad), Paritala Sunita, are on a fast against Telangana.

However, prominent TDP leaders from the Telangana region — Errabelli Dayakara Rao and Nagam Janardhan Reddy (also MLAs) — said that Naidu should stick to his stand of a separate state.

Errabelli Dayakara Rao said that leaders from that region would not mind breaking away and forming a Telangana TDP in case Naidu developed cold feet on the issue.

While Naidu would like to keep his hold on the Telangana wing of the party if there is a separation, his preference would be to concentrate on the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions (he is from Rayalaseema).

While Naidu would like to keep his hold on the Telangana wing of the party if there is a separation, his preference would be to concentrate on the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions (he is from Rayalaseema).

“In the case of separation, Naidu knows he can be chief minister (only of the coastal and Rayalaseema regions). He might want to have his hold on Telangana, but it only comes second for him,” a political analyst said.