TDP rocked by turmoil over TelanganaJune 13th, 2008 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, June 13 (IANS) Serious differences among senior leaders over the issue of separate statehood to the Telangana region has rocked the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Defying party president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s directive to all the leaders not to air their views publicly on the politically sensitive issue, another senior leader and former minister C. Muthyam Reddy Friday openly supported the demand for the separate state.
Muthyam Reddy has joined leaders like politburo member T. Devender Goud and party vice president G. Sukhender Reddy who publicly aired their views in support of separate Telangana.
A few days before the meeting of a core committee on the Telangana issue, the party is divided between those supporting the separate Telangana and those opposing it.
The open rift has come as a jolt to TDP at a time when the party was gearing up for next year’s elections and Naidu is busy on a state-wide ‘yatra’ or tour. The turmoil hit the party when it was celebrating the victory in the recent by-elections.
Regaining the lost ground in Telangana region, the party wrested one Lok Sabha and four assembly seats from the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in the May 29 by-polls.
The defeat of TRS in the by-elections was seen as big setback to the Telangana movement but the issue was back at the centre stage when TDP seniors criticised each other while interpreting the results.
While a group said it was the defeat of Telangana sentiment, leaders like Goud disagreed and demanded that the party take a favourable stand on the issue.
Muthyam Reddy, who lost the by-elections in Dommat assembly constituency to TRS candidate, told a Telugu television channel Friday that the party should take a stand in favour of the separate state. He wanted the core committee to take a clear stand.
“We will wait and see. If the committee fails to take a stand then we will decide our future course of action,” he said.
TDP had set up five-member committee in April to look into the issue following demands from a section of party leaders of Telangana that the party should make its stand clear. The first meeting of the committee is scheduled to be held June 18.
Muthyam Reddy’s statement came a day after Sukhender Reddy met Goud, who is at the centre of the Telangana-storm in the party.
Supporting Goud’s line of thinking, the party vice president said it was time the party took a decision on Telangana. He said the party should not ignore the fact that 35 percent of the people who voted for TRS in the recent by-elections wanted a separate Telangana.
The meeting assumed significance in view of the attacks on Goud by those opposing a separate Telangana and the demands within the party for action against Sukhender Reddy for his alleged role in the defeat of party candidate M. Narasimhulu from Alair assembly constituency in the recent by-elections.
Sukhender Reddy alleged that a section of leaders from Andhra region were hatching a conspiracy against him for taking a pro-Telangana stand.
Goud came under attack from former minister and legislator from Secunderabad T. Srinivas Yadav. The latter hit out at Goud and even suggested that he leave the party.
He alleged that Yadav, who was elected in the recent by-elections, was acting on behalf of Y. Ramakrishnudu, a senior party leader from Andhra region, who is against bifurcation of the state.
Naidu, who had an iron-grip on the party while in power from 1995 to 2004, appears helpless as the seniors were openly squabbling over Telangana.
Another former minister Kadiam Srihari, party MP from Warangal E. Dayakar Rao and former union minister S. Venugopala Chary are believed to be in favour of a separate Telangana.
Tags: assembly seats, centre stage, chandrababu naidu, constituency, core committee, devender, goud, hyderabad, jolt, Lok Sabha, member committee, party president, politburo member, sensitive issue, statehood, telangana movement, television channel, telugu television, trs, yatra