Hyderabad: Though politicians switching loyalties is not uncommon before elections, there seems to be no end to troubles of Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu whose party leaders are increasingly deserting the TDP.
On Thursday, Anakapally Lok Sabha MP Avanti Srinivas resigned from the TDP and joined the state’s main opposition party, the YSR Congress. A couple of days back, Chirala legislator Amachi Krishna Mohan had also left Naidu’s party. The developments came in the backdrop of the state government introducing cash benefit schemes in the recent budget.
Though there was speculation for some weeks that the Chirala MLA was on his way to joining Jagan Mohan Reddy, the chief minister tried his best to convince him and also personally met him. Naidu’s efforts weren’t fruitful, though.
Most of the deserters allege that there exists casteism and favoritism in THE TDP. “All the key positions in the AP government are occupied by Chandrababu Naidu’s community,” Amachi alleged.
Srinivas, who joined the YSR Congress on Thursday in the presence of its president Jagan Mohan Reddy, also made corruption allegations and nepotism on TDP and its president. He had also accused the AP CM of taking unilateral decisions on political alliances.
After joining YSRCP, he alleged, “The corrupt attitude of TDP leaders has spoiled the future of the state. Naidu’s politics is based on casteism.”
Speculations are rife that more leaders from the party are planning to desert Naidu. Senior leader and industrialist Dasari Jai Ramesh has also met Reddy and is expected to join YSRCP soon.
As per highly placed sources in YSRCP, a minister from Visakhapatnam district is also in touch with Reddy. Sources add that negotiations are on to accommodate the leader as an assembly contestant from YSRCP.
Also, a sitting MP from AP’s coastal area and an MLA from Godavari district are in touch with the top leadership of YSRCP.
Reacting to the developments, Naidu has alleged that the people who are switching sides used him in their bad times. He claimed that the government's welfare programmes would bring TDP back to power.
“Jagan is attracting our people with his black money. We don’t believe in leaders. We believe in our cadres. People may come and go. Our leader Chandrababu Naidu is there for us,” TDP official spokesperson Lanka Dinakar told News 18.
Political observers, however, feel that leaders who are quitting didn’t have confidence of the party’s victory in the upcoming polls. “It clearly shows the leaders are not confident of coming back to power. They feel that a strong alternative is YSRCP. That’s why they are joining Jagan Mohan Reddy,” said Vasireddy Srinivas, a senior journalist.