The internal bickering in Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which started with MLAs Ramana Murthy Raju alias Kannababu and Chintalapudi Venkatramaiah deciding to look for alternatives, is slowly spreading into the neighbouring districts. While both the MLAs have refused to budge despite their mentor and former minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao asking them to rethink over their decision, the supporters of leaders are coming out in open to raise a red flag against allotment of tickets.
Even as the TDP leadership was busy discussing the seat sharing with BJP in Hyderabad, MLAs Kannababu and Venkatramaiah held discussions with their supporters on future plans. Ganta Srinivasa Rao too is learnt to have spoken to the duo, but the latter refused to heed to his advice as the party leadership is not ready to assure them tickets. It is learnt that Kannababu was even offered MLC seat when TDP comes to power.
Sources said that both the leaders were contacted by senior Congress leaders. Rajya Sabha member T Subbarami Reddy reportedly offered his support to Kannababu, if the latter contested for Vizag Lok Sabha constituency, while Venkatramaiah was offered his Gajuwaka Assembly constituency. It is learnt that Kannababu also received invite from YSR Congress. Both the legislators are holding discussions with their supporters to take a final call.
Meanwhile, the supporters of TDP aspirant Vijay Kumar, who is seeking the party ticket from Yelamanchili Assembly constituency, attacked the party office at Yelamanchili opposing the candidature of ‘outsiders’ and went on ransacking the furniture. Later, they staged a dharna demanding that the ‘outsiders’ should not be preferred over local candidates like Vijay Kumar.
The situation is no different in Vizianagaram district where the supporters of different aspirants did not hesitate to make public their anger over the decisions of the party state leadership. The cadre is opposing the candidature of Meesala Githa from Vizianagaram Assembly constituency, Kolla Lalitha Kumari from S Kota Assembly constituency and T Lakshum Naidu from Bobbili Assembly constituency. “If the party leadership has truly followed the IVRS (interactive voice response system), these candidates would have never made it so far. The IVRS seems to be rubbish,” said a TDP leader.
At Gajapatinagaram, the partymen are openly disagreeing with the party decision to allot the Assembly seat to the BJP as part of poll alliance and warned to field an independent candidate if the party does not heed to their requests. A TDP senior leader in Visakhapatnam said that the trouble has just started, if the bickering while finalising the candidates in Telangana was any indication. “These internal fights are bound to happen especially when candidates have protected the party over 10 years when it was not in power. The party leadership has promised to accommodate those who did not get tickets in various posts,” he said.