Former minister’s supporters quit Telugu Desam Party

March 25th, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, March 25 (IANS) Dozens of supporters of former Andhra Pradesh minister K. Vidyadhar Rao Tuesday resigned from the opposition Telugu Desam Party to protest his expulsion from the party. Four former legislators were among 50 people who resigned from party posts in his native West Godavari district to protest his expulsion.

They held a meeting to express solidarity with their leader and said they would follow him if he decides to join any other political party.

Former chairperson of Eluru municipal corporation M. Ishwari said that if a senior leader like Vidyadhar could be expelled, ordinary party workers like her had no future in the party.

Those who resigned include village and mandal level public representatives of the party. They decided to hold another meeting Wednesday.

Vidyadhar Rao, former minister and legislator from 1983 to 2004, was Monday expelled from the TDP for going against the party discipline and openly proclaiming support to film star Chiranjeevi’s yet to be launched political outfit.

The decision was taken late Monday by the TDP politburo, which noted that Vidyadhar Rao extended logistic support to Chiranjeevi’s core committee meetings. Following the discussion in the politburo, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu decided to expel him.

Rao held several portfolios from agriculture to industries in the governments headed by N.T. Rama Rao and Naidu.

He first entered the state assembly in 1983 as an Independent and was elected on a TDP ticket in 1985. He represented Chintapalpudi constituency in West Godavari district but lost the 2004 election.

By expelling Rao, the TDP leadership has sent a clear message to all senior leaders who publicly aired their views on various issues, including support to Chiranjeevi’s proposed party and separate Telangana.

Recently, former minister Kadiam Srihari publicly backed the demand for separate statehood to Telangana region, though the TDP is against the bifurcation of the state. He even advised Naidu to support the demand if he wanted to become the chief minister again.

The party leadership, however, did not take any serious action against him.

Some leaders of both the ruling Congress party and the TDP have publicly stated that they would back the political party the Telugu superstar proposes to launch. Chiranjeevi is yet to take a final decision on taking a plunge into politics but his aides have hinted that he would soon float a new party.

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