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TDP should be planning for multi-cornered contests for 2014 polls
Published on Dec 24, 2011 6:17 pm IST

With Balakrishna taking interest in TDP affairs, starting with the makeover of the party office, how things would shape up for the 2014 general elections has turned out to be a curious political guess.

Unlike 2009 elections, this time around the bond between Nandamuri and Nara families has further strengthened with Balakrishna’s daughter Brahmani getting married to Naidu’s son Lokesh. One more Nandmuri girl entered the Nara clan and this time around Balakrishna, who was once declared as the political heir by NTR, has become active.

In the previous elections, Jr NTR was the poster boy of TDP and the humble boy did his job as told by the elders. He too has become the member of the extended Nara family by marrying Praneta, niece of Chandrababu Naidu.

It’s all in the family as of now. Ever since NTR was overthrown in a bloodless coup and Chandrababu Naidu took over the reins of the party and state, there was some bad publicity of the rift between the two families. Now that the void is filled and cemented with the marriage(s), things appear to be clear from the family point of view for TDP, which has been the alternative to Congress in the state till recently.

Now the scene has changed and the state has become multi-polar. In the changed scenario, Naidu has done well in keeping his own house (family) in order. Today Naidu and Balakrishna have come together and are certain to battle it out in the ensuing general elections. If the trend continues and Lokesh along with Jr NTR carries it forward, things would be good.

Wait, we are going ahead of the story.

What TDP needs now is to set its party in order. The growing dissent among the cadre, regional feelings, caste equations and emergence of YSR Congress and a hostile TRS along with die-hard Chieraneevi fans along the coastal belt should be addressed with and the leadership should find answers and solutions and find them fast to pre-empt any further corrosion to the party.

In the 2004 general elections, TDP lost some seats by a wafer thin margin and yielded many by a lean margin and PRP polled much more votes than the resultant margin in a considerable number of seats, which could have turned the tables in the final verdict. TDP think tank is aware of the danger when there is a third force in play by past experience.

Basically the party emerged as a plank to provide an alternative to Congress and it worked superbly. It could garner all the anti-Congress votes.

Now the situation is different. In Telangana TRS has emerged and it is at loggerheads with TDP, Congress has a good number of assembly seats in the region so Naidu has to work out a strategy where it can emerge as a challenger as it has lost lot of ground of late. His Rythu padayatra had a bumpy ride in the region.

TDP has to face the Chieraneevi factor in the coastal districts, with Prasanna Kumar Reddy from Nellore to T Sitaram in Srikakulam getting behind PRP and the caste factor playing an important role it would not be a dream ride for Naidu, unless he plans a solid strategy to outwit the rivals. The region also has a strong presence of YSR Congress supporters with Pilli Subhas Chandra Bose, who never lost an election in the recent past, solidly backing the party. A multi-dimensional contest is like a hanging sword and results cannot be guessed as any such exercise could be far from accurate.

Rayalaseema has always been loyal to individuals and groups but not to parties. If one group joins one party the opposing group obviously goes to the rival party. This was when there were only two parties. Now the YSR Congress pitching its tent, the region is bound to have a good following and TDP has to gather pieces and put them together and again wage a triangular or in some cases a multi-corner fight.

The issues the party take up and line the TDP toes would lead to electoral results in the days to come. (INN)


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