TDP eyes more Congress leaders

TDP eyes more Congress leaders
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Highlights

Though Nehru remains silent and non-committal on his joining the ruling party, his supporters admit that the leader had held a couple of internal meetings where he shared his intentions.  The sources said that Nehru does not want to change the party but he is forced to do so as the chances of Congress winning even in the next elections are bleak.

Vijayawada: The news of senior Congress leader Devineni Rajasekhar switching loyalties has become talk of the city, more particularly in the political circles. The ruling TDP made the move strategically to weaken the Congress, which is often visible in the city with the active involvement of Nehru and his son Devineni Avinash, who is the AP Youth Congress president.

Though Nehru remains silent and non-committal on his joining the ruling party, his supporters admit that the leader had held a couple of internal meetings where he shared his intentions. The sources said that Nehru does not want to change the party but he is forced to do so as the chances of Congress winning even in the next elections are bleak.

The Congress, which had suffered heavily after the bifurcation and could not even get 2 per cent of votes in the 2014 general elections, had proved its existence in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.

While it is Dronamraju Srinivas in Visakhapatnam who had kept the party alive, it is Devineni Rajasekhar and his son who kept the party alive in Vijayawada. Former legislator Malladi Vishnu too after becoming the city Congress president, strove for strengthening the party.

It is for this reason the ruling party had set its eyes on Nehru and pushed Assembly Deputy Speaker Mandali Buddha Prasad into the scene to convince the former Minister.

The TDP leadership is very particular on further weakening the Congress in the city and the exit of Devineni family and his supporters would certainly have adverse impact on the party.

Interestingly for the Congress, Nehru’s exit would mean the exit of several leaders including State Youth Congress chief Avinash, Krishna district Congress president Kadiyala Butchi Babu, besides three former deputy mayors, more than a dozen former corporators from the city and a couple of dozens of senior leaders from Krishna district.

The Congress would suffer a beating at a time when the party is slowly settling down with the State headquarters in Vijayawada. He (Nehru) did not say anything about his exit.

It is all rumours. But, if at all the TDP wants to weaken the Congress by taking him, no doubt the party would suffer,” admitted Malladi Vishnu. However, he said that the Congress had seen several senior leaders deserting the party and it would digest ‘his exit’.

APCC general secretary Meesala Rajeswara Rao downplayed the rumours of Nehru deserting the party. “He is a strong leader and the party too had given him and his son greater importance.

They are committed to the strengthening of the Congress and the rumours are unfounded,” he added. “Leaders will come and go, Congress will remain,” asserted APCC spokesman Kolanukonda Sivaji. However, he said he did not believe the rumours about Devineni family quitting the party.

Nehru is a committed politician and his son Avinash is very active in the party. They stood by the party in its most difficult period. We are now picking up with KVP’s private member bill in Parliament seeking Special Category Status. I don’t think the family would leave the party at this stage,” Sivaji asserted.

By G Gopi

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