TDP lawmaker rejects Naidu’s offer for ‘big post’, sets off buzz about next move
There is buzz in Vijayawada that Vijayawada Kesineni Srinivas alias Nani could cross over to the BJP. Last month, the MP travelled to Nagpur to meet Union minister Nitin Gadkari to seek “his blessings”.Updated: Jun 05, 2019 23:49 IST
Rumblings surfaced in the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) within days of its humiliating defeat in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections, with Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas alias Nani on Wednesday refusing to accept the post of party whip in the lower house of Parliament.
The TDP won only three of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The YSR Congress Party, led by chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy, swept the state polls, winning 151 of the 175 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh. It also bagged 22 Lok Sabha seats.
Nani posted a message on his Facebook page stating that he was not suitable to handle the responsibilities of such a “big post.” While thanking TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu for appointing him as party whip in Lok Sabha, the Vijayawada MP said he had requested Naidu to appoint someone else, “who is more capable and efficient” than him to the post.
A week after the general elections, Naidu held a meeting of the MPs and appointed Guntur MP Galla Jayadev as the parliamentary party leader, Srikakulam MP Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu as the party’s floor leader in Lok Sabha and Nani as the party whip. Former Union minister YS Chowdary was appointed floor leader in Rajya Sabha.
Apparently, Nani was not happy with his post and was hurt with Naidu appointing Rammohan Naidu, a junior to him in politics, as the floor leader. On Tuesday, he did not attend an Iftar party hosted by Naidu in Vijayawada, his own constituency.
Meanwhile, speculations were rife in Vijayawada that Nani was contemplating joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. On May 28, the MP had gone to Nagpur to meet Union minister Nitin Gadkari “to take his blessings”.
Parliamentary party leader Jayadev who went to convince Nani said he did not understand why Nani had rejected the post.
The Vijayawada MP, however, refuted the reports that he was going to join the BJP.
Author and political analyst Sriram Karri said, “It could as well be the beginning of the end for Naidu. It is only a matter of time before Naidu’s leadership in TDP will be challenged.