Will Silpa’s exit upset TD applecart?
Coming close on the heels of the next general election, the Nandyal by-election can turn into a litmus test to the Chandrababu Naidu government as Silpa Mohan Reddy’s exit has a potential to upset the ruling Telugu Desam’s applecart.
Nandyal: Coming close on the heels of the next general election, the Nandyal by-election can turn into a litmus test to the Chandrababu Naidu government as Silpa Mohan Reddy’s exit has a potential to upset the ruling Telugu Desam’s applecart.
Though the TDP continues to enjoy popular support, the local specific factors of Nandyal in particular and Rayalaseema politics in general, can give anxious moments for the TDP. The Rayalaseema politics is known for faction loyalties rather than political affinities.
The TDP supremo was caught in a typical Hamletian dilemma in terms of choice of the candidate for the Nandyal bypoll which was the result of the sudden demise of Bhuma Nagi Reddy.
With the induction of Bhuma Akhila Priya into the state Cabinet, the political circles were given to believe that it was a ploy to keep the Bhuma family out of the race from Nandyal bypoll facilitating the candidature of Silpa Mohan Reddy. But, it seems, the Bhuma group was not ready to relent. Naidu has no luxury of having both the egg and the omelet.
The YSR Congress waiting in the wings to grab any little opportunity was quick to respond to embrace Silpa group.
This constituency was always known for bitter faction feud between the Silpa and Bhuma families.
With the defection of Bhuma Nagi Reddy to TDP, the political dimension of the faction feud turned into a personality conflict within the party. The differences between the two have even gone into the courtyard of Naidu for resolution.
Silpa group predicted that they would have sway over the Nandyal politics with the demise of Bhuma. But, the elevation of Akhila Priya instead of calming down the internal conflict within the party has only exacerbated the situation for the TDP leadership.
However, the death of Bhuma Nagi Reddy left a void in the group loyal to his family. Silpa Mohan Reddy has no rival of his political stature in the Bhuma group. Thus, the Bhuma group has felt that if they give up now, they would be marginalised in the faction ridden politics.
The absence of a rival of his stature and the sympathy emanating from his defeat in the last elections galvanised the popular sentiment in favour of Silpa Mohan Reddy. However, the sympathy for Bhuma family due to the death of its patriarch would be a serious hurdle for the advancement of Silpa Mohan Reddy.
But, Silpa group hopes to capitalize on the fact that no direct descendant of Bhuma Nagi Reddy would be in the fray on behalf of TDP. The personal charisma of Silpa Mohan Reddy would further bolster the chances of YSR Congress which would otherwise have been in a beleaguered position.
No one in the TDP could be a match for Silpa Mohan Reddy in mobilizing election machinery, financial muscle or in individual popularity. The TDP has to bank on the pro incumbency the Naidu government expects along with the fact that the by election is to choose a successor to Bhuma Nagi Reddy. The TDP is expected to campaign that any vote for the party would be a tribute to Bhuma.
Speculation is rife in the political circles that TDP may field Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy. But, he would not be considered as the political heir of Bhuma Nagi Reddy, hopes the sources in the YSR Congress. If Brahmananda Reddy fails to reap the sympathy sentiment over Bhuma’s demise, it would be an additional benefit for Silpa.