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Friday, December 14, 2007

Analysis: Chiru gives yellow fever to TDP

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HYDERABAD: The prospects of megastar Chiranjeevi entering their domain has the Telugu Desam party more worried than the Congress. Reason: the combination of large number of BC leaders in the TDP plus many of them being a disgruntled lot may induce them to jump into the new political party if it becomes a reality coming January.

Though it is early days still, sources say that Chiranjeevi's party may strongly woo TDP BC leaders T Devender Goud (Goud from Telangana), Yerrannaidu (Koppula Velama from north Andhra), C Ramachandraiah (Balija from Kadapa) and former minister K E Krishnamurthy (Ediga from Rayalaseema).

"So far, these leaders had no choice but to remain with N Chandrababu Naidu. But if Chiranjeevi enters the fray, they may well join him. This is because these leaders have been repeatedly marginalised and prevented from growing within the party by Naidu.

Goud has been put down many times, including after his recent padayatra in Telangana region. And Yerrannaidu can never forget the fact that Naidu gifted away the Lok Sabha speaker's post after the death of G M C Balayogi when he (Yerrannaidu) was the obvious choice," a party leader told TOI. Analysts, of course, cautioned that though they may be wooed, it is not necessary that all of them will fall for the bait.

Apart from these BC leaders, there are others in the TDP who may be lured by the new party because of being marginalised by Naidu.

These include K Vidyadhar Rao (former MLA and Velama from West Godavari), K Venugopalachary (former minister from Adilabad who claims to be a Brahmin) and T Seetaram (former leader from Srikakulam).

Already non political BC activist with considerable following R Krishnaiah has thrown his weight around Chiranjeevi.

According to sources, the mediators of Chiranjeevi are expected to consult these leaders to discuss about Chiranjeevi's new agenda "power to powerless" soon.

The Congress, meanwhile, though outwardly maintaining that the entry of the star would not adversely affect the party in any manner, discussed the issue at Wednesday's CLP meeting in which three Kapu ministers - Botsa Satyanarayana, Mandali Buddha Prasad and Kanna Lakshminarayana - were present.

Spotlight: Cong discusses Chiru at meet

Hyderabad: Though maintaining that the entry of Telugu film actor Chiranjeevi would not adversely affect the party, the Congress party discussed the issue at Wednesday’s CLP meeting in which three Kapu ministers - Botsa Satyanarayana, Mandali Buddha Prasad and Kanna Lakshminarayana - were present.

Other Kapu leaders like Ponnala Lakshmaiah and Konthala Ramakrishna could not attend. Legislators who were present at the meet included V Vasanta Kumar, Veda Vyas and Kottu Satyanarayana (all BC leaders).

Party insiders say while a couple of middle-level Kapu and BC leaders may walk over to the new outfit immediately, many seniors may join forces with him, if at all, later. “What Chiranjeevi is igniting is not mere political awareness among the Kapus. He is attempting to realise a 50-year dream of the Kapus standing on a par with the Reddys and Kammas,” said a Kapu MLA from the Congress.

Among the BCs who may be attracted to Chiranjeevi’s party include Mahbubnagar MP D Vittal Rao and MLA Puli Veeranna.

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