VISAKHAPATNAM: Resentment is brewing among Telugu Desam Party (TDP) cadre in Visakhapatnam over the ongoing fight between party heavyweights and ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Ch Ayyanna Patrudu to assert their dominance in the party. The rift has grown so wide that there is a vertical divide among the rank and file of the party.
A large number of TDP cadres and second-rung leaders, who faced several troubles during the 10-year Congress rule and had put in their best efforts to bring the party to power, have been disenchanted over the factionalism and public bickering of leaders.
The TDP workers who had pinned their hopes on selection to nominated posts and other key positions in the party are lamenting that their chances will be lost in the group clash. Nine months have passed after the party returned to power in the state and yet the second-rung leaders who toiled to bring back the party to the corridors are left in the lurch, they rued.
Meanwhile, Chintakayala Ayyanna Patrudu and Ganta Srinivasa Rao are engaged in a verbal duel exposing their rift in public.
Disappointed over the turn of events, party senior workers and second-rung leaders are hoping that the party leadership will intervene.
“We were put to lot of trouble when the party was in the opposition, for a decade. Even after coming to power, nothing has changed because of the rift between the two heavyweights. Unfortunately, no leader is caring for the party workers or thinking about filling up the nominated posts. Ayyanna Patrudu and Ganta Srinivasa Rao should stop their group politics and work together to strengthen the party now that the public have started questioning us over the fulfillment of poll promises,” a senior TDP leader and former MLA said.
Meanwhile, the party high command is observing the developments closely. There are rumours that the party is planning to fill up all the nominated posts before the upcoming Mahanadu. However, there is no clarity yet on the names of leaders, who are tipped for the posts. If the local ministers fail to submit the names, the party high command will appoint others, a senior leader cautioned.
Sources said that one of the party MLAs has took the issue of factionalism in Visakhapatnam to the notice of party heavy weight and actor-turned politician N Balakrishna. Nara Lokesh, who is actively involved in the party affairs, is also watching the developments closely and preparing reports.
“It is true that the cadre is suffering due to the factionalism. It is not good for the party. Chief minister and party president N Chandrababu Naidu is already troubled by various issues including the step-motherly treatment by the Union government and the severe financial crisis. The leaders should remember that the party won the elections with a lean majority. Hence, both the ministers should co-operate and create a healthy and friendly atmosphere in the party,” one of the party MLAs opined.