The act of Delhi durbar deciding politics of Andhra Pradesh was what had triggered the formation of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on the plank of “Telugu pride” in 1982.
And, giving a quiet go-by to the very fundamental tenet of the party, N Chandrababu Naidu, president of the TDP, has indeed surrendered the “Telugu pride” at the feet of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
NTR would have turned in his grave umpteenth time for the acts of omission and commission of Naidu in the last several years. Bringing anti-BJP parties together is just a ploy to lend credence to his Delhi visit. The main objective of Naidu’s Delhi visit was to have the seat-sharing exercise frozen.
The Congress will now contest 95 seats, according to a statement by N Uttam Kumar Reddy, president of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC). The remaining 24 seats would be contested by TDP, Telangana Jana Samithi and the CPI. Naidu had actually bent backwards just for those few seats, as it was a question of existence for his party.
NTR had floated the TDP to safeguard the Telugu self-respect, for he felt humiliated by the Congress which habitually centralized the decision-making process in Delhi.
Has anything changed in the last 36 years of TDP’s existence? Its founder was ousted and Naidu has taken over the reins of the party and continued his sway over the rank and file of the party. Later, NTR, who considered launching a different political party, however, died before realizing his plan and taking on Naidu.
On the Congress front, two non-Gandhi leaders served as the party presidents. P V Narasimha Rao served as the Prime Minister and also Congress president. Sitaram Kesri replaced Rao at the behest of Sonia Gandhi. Later, Mrs. Gandhi took over and relinquished the position to her son recently.
Except for that, nothing has changed in the Congress, be it its culture or tradition.
Now the TDP is ready to contest under the aegis of the Congress. No staunch TDP supporter, who endorsed the change of guard in the party and the leadership of Naidu, would be ready to cast his vote in favour of “hand” symbol or any other symbol. That becomes an emotive issue for such voter. So much so, even a traditional Congress voter would not cast the vote to bicycle.
Naidu’s meeting Rahul Gandhi at the latter’s residence as part of his much-publicised cobbling of an anti-BJP alliance is surely an alibi. Naidu is ready to join a Rahul Gandhi-led anti-BJP conglomerate, expecting that the BJP might not win the general elections and that the coalition of Opposition parties could be a formidable opposition to the BJP.
Endorsing KTR’s oft-repeated charge that the Congressmen would be remote-controlled by Delhi, they are languishing in the AICC corridors for party tickets. And, Naidu is just an addition to the bedlam.