Senior TDP leader Ramachandraiah quits party

July 19th, 2008 - 12:44 am ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, July 18 (IANS) In yet another blow to the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh, senior party leader and Rajya Sabha member C. Ramachandraiah Friday resigned from the party. He made the announcement after a meeting with his followers in Kadpa district, bringing the curtains down on the speculation doing rounds for the last two weeks.

Ramachandraiah, who had recently admitted to ideological difference with party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, said the “callous” attitude of the party towards the problems of backward classes and farmers forced him to take the step.

Alleging that the TDP had deviated from the policies of party founder N.T. Rama Rao, he said he had no option but to resign as Naidu was pursuing his personal agenda.

“Since, I could not change him (Naidu), I decided to change the party,” said Ramachandraiah.

He said he would join a party wedded to social equality and equality. There are indications that he might join the new political party proposed to be launched by Telugu actor Chiranjeevi next month.

Ramachandraiah was a member of the TDP politburo, the highest decision making body of the party and one of the powerful leaders from the backward classes.

His resignation will deal a big jolt to the party in the Rayalseema region, especially Kadpa district, from where Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy comes.

Ramachandraiah, a chartered accountant by profession who was associated with the TDP since its inception in early 1980s, had served as junior minister in N.T. Rama Rao’s cabinet. He was elected to the assembly from Kadpa in 1985 and has been a Rajya Sabha member since 1988.

His resignation comes at a time when the TDP is facing a crisis due to the exodus of senior leaders. Last month, senior leaders former MP Bhuma Nagi Reddy and his wife former state legislator Shoba Nagi Reddy had quit the TDP to join Chiranjeevi’s proposed party.

Earlier, party second-in-command and former home minister T. Devender Goud had resigned to float a new party to fight for a separate statehood for the Telangana region.

Several former legislators and district level leaders quit the TDP during the last few weeks to join Chiranjeevi’s party.

Earlier this year, senior leader and former minister K. Vidyadhar Rao was expelled from the party for making a statement in support of Chiranjeevi.

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