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The curious Revanth conundrum

The curious Revanth conundrum
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The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had weathered many a storm in its eventful and chequered existence since 1982. It has seen many a crisis starting from...

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had weathered many a storm in its eventful and chequered existence since 1982. It has seen many a crisis starting from the backstabbing of its founder NT Rama Rao by his second-in-command Nadendla Bhaskar Rao.

The party patriarch was meted a similar treatment many years later. In fact, this time it was more serious and a bigger blow as a split was engineered by incumbent National President and current Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Nara Chandrababu Naidu.

This was ostensibly to save the party, which was on the verge of a collapse following NTR’s marriage to Lakshmi Parvati and the turbulence it created in NTR’s family, as also TDP. However, it is to the credit of the managerial skills of leaders like Naidu that the party withstood the crisis and came out successful, and perhaps stronger.

But if one goes by the developments, mostly unsavory, of the recent past, the party is at the tip of the iceberg. The blow is almost irrecoverable and comes at a particularly critical time for the political equations in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State. In a way, the bifurcation has hit the party most adversely.

For starters, the TRS, which stormed to power in Telangana, poached 12 of 15 MLAs who survived the TRS landslide. Since then, the yellow party has not been able to regain lost glory.

In fact, it has been on the downslide by the day. It was to such tragic proportions that Naidu had to make a hurried exit from Hyderabad to Vijayawada following the note-for-vote scam in which his firebrand Telangana face A Revanth Reddy was caught red-handed.

That, in a way, marked the beginning of the downfall of the party in the new State. Revanth, after all, was the only man in TDP who could match KCR’s oratory, word for word. Recognising this, a post was created for him and he was made the party Working President, something unthinkable in the Naidu school of politics.

It had its off-shoot as such elevation caused heartburn among senior leaders in the party. Now things have reached a flashpoint all over again for TDP and whatever remains of its base in Telangana. Revanth quitting the party leaves behind a void that cannot be filled easily.

But then the question now is how much will the Congress benefit from his entry. Will he be given an important post and to what extent can Reddy influence the voters for the party to get a fresh lease of life in Telangana are questions that hold no immediate answers.

One advantage is that a large number of young leaders, who are his followers, would also join Congress with him. This will give added strength to Congress party.

If party insiders are to be believed, Revanth will be the star campaigner for Congress. When he submitted his resignation to TDP, there were several doubts as to which side the trigger would be pointed at-Naidu or KCR.

But as things are unfolding now it appears that Revanth has realized that he cannot continue his fight against KCR being in truncated TDP, which was not in a position to emerge as a formidable opposition.

The BJP, which about six months back appeared to be in an advantageous position, has slipped badly following the note-ban and GST. The only opposition party that is active now is the Congress.

Its problem was the absence of a forceful leader, who could dare and confront the TRS leadership head on. The Congress leaders are so divided that each is fighting the other and have failed to exhibit the ability to take on KCR.

Now that Rahul Gandhi is set to be the captain of the ship called AICC, observers opine that Revanth could be an asset to the party’s political fortunes. Incidentally, Revanth has now made it clear that his fight is only against KCR and added that the “real big fight begins now.”

Amid the rumblings, it remains to be seen as to what measures the master-tactician Naidu would take to save the Telangana unit of TDP. Speculations are rife that some of its senior leaders are looking towards TRS.

By V RAMU SARMA

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